MESA, Ariz. – The man suspected of murdering a 14-year-old girl and stuffing her body in a dumpster is being held with bail.
A judge Tuesday night ordered that 31-year-old Alex Anthony Madrid, 31, be held on suspicion of first-degree murder, kidnapping, sexual conduct with a minor, child molestation, child abuse, sexual abuse, abandonment and concealment of a dead body and tampering with physical evidence. Prosecutors are expected to formally files those charges Wednesday.
Police said Madrid is the estranged boyfriend of the victim's mother and had lived in the family's home at one point.
On Monday, police released the identity of the victim, Claudia Ann Lucero. She was a freshman at Westwood High School.
During the investigation police learned Lucero had told classmates that Madrid had inappropriately touched her and that she was scared of him.
Police started looking at Madrid and arrested him Friday night for a probation violation. Madrid tried to get away from police in his car and on foot when they tried to pull him over on Alma School Road, according to court documents.
While he was in jail over the weekend police linked him to the strangulation murder of Lucero through DNA evidence.
"I can't tell you how much I appreciate the family in this incredible hour of tragedy to provide us with as much information as they possibly could to not only identify a suspect, take him into custody and bring charges against him to insure that this does not yet happen to another member of our community," said Mesa Police Chief Frank Milstead.
Police said Madrid is not talking with detectives and is not cooperating with the investigation.
Mesa police officers responded to the Sun Garden Apartments near Horne and Brown Road at about 12:30 a.m. on Friday after two women digging through the dumpster for aluminum cans discovered the body.
Police said the teen was last seen at approximately 6:30 a.m. Thursday at her home in Mesa. The girl's mother reported her missing at 10 p.m.
"I cannot possibly imagine or conceive the feelings of the Lucero family today," Milstead said. "There's no way for me to understand or to rationalize the range of emotions that continue to course through their minds and their souls as the deal with the loss of Claudia Lucero, a 14-year-old high school student from Westwood High School who had done absolutely nothing wrong,"
Milstead said he hopes the Maricopa County attorney will pursue the death penalty in this case.
"The case involving Claudia Lucero is a case that you cannot compartmentalize. You cannot shelter your emotion. There is now way for us to possibly find any reason for the nature of this crime and for any of us to deal with it rationally," Milstead said.
Madrid has an extensive felony record and served time in the Arizona Department of Corrections for domestic violence and aggravated assault.