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August 22, 2014

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Coroner rules ‘Fantasy’ dancer died from asphyxiation

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Jason Griffith, right, is charged with murder in the death of dancer Debbie Flores Narvaez.

Updated Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011 | 3:13 p.m.

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Police news conference

Debora Flores Narvaez

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Debora Flores Narvaez, the missing Luxor dancer whose body was found Friday dismembered and placed in concrete in plastic tubs, died of asphyxiation due to neck compression, the Clark County Coroner's Office said.

A tip led police to discover her remains Friday in tubs at an apartment near Bonanza Road and Las Vegas Boulevard. Her ex-boyfriend, 32-year-old Jason Griffith, was charged Friday in connection with her murder. The coroner on Tuesday officially ruled the death a homicide.

A memorial service for "Debbie," as she was known by family and friends, is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at St. Viator Catholic Church, 4246 S. Eastern Ave.

"My little sister Debbie didn't deserve such an unimaginable outcome. She had such a beautiful & passionate soul," her sister, Celeste, wrote on a Facebook page dedicated to the search. The family plans to bury her in Puerto Rico, where she was born.

New details emerged Monday in the murder of Flores Narvaez with the release of a police report for Griffith.

According to the report, Griffith and Flores Narvaez became involved in a domestic dispute at his North Las Vegas residence. The couple, according to police, had a violent relationship with three previous reports of domestic violence being filed with the department. In one of the three events, Griffith was listed as the victim; in the two others, Flores-Narvaez was the victim.

An acquaintance of Griffith contacted police Friday to report he tried to leave Flores Narvaez's body, which was in concrete in a plastic tub, at her residence Dec. 15. Griffith and his roommate, Louis Colombo, left the woman's residence when she "freaked out" after being told Flores Narvaez's body was in the tub, according to the report.

The woman told police she hesitated to alert authorities because she didn't want to believe Flores Narvaez was dead and she was afraid of Colombo.

Detectives questioned Colombo on Friday about Flores Narvaez's disappearance and he gave the following version of events, according to the police report:

Flores Narvaez came to the residence he shared with Griffith the night she disappeared and got into a violent altercation with Griffith. At one point, Colombo said he "had to pull Griffith off of Flores Narvaez because he was choking her with his hands around her neck," according to the police report.

When Colombo returned to the house on Russian Olive Street in North Las Vegas later that night, Griffith confronted him at the front door and led him to Flores Narvaez's dead body in another room.

The two then mixed concrete and poured it over Flores Narvaez's body in a plastic tub. The next day, they rented a U-Haul truck and tried to store it at an apartment belonging to Griffith's friend in Henderson.

When that didn't work, they eventually decided to leave the tub at the house of Colombo's friends, who were out of the country.

After the tub started leaking at its new location, Colombo told police Griffith returned with new plastic tubs, a sledge hammer, a handsaw and cleaning supplies from Walmart. The two broke Flores Narvaez out of the concrete, and Griffith allegedly dismembered her body before placing it in two separate tubs and filling them with concrete.

Before leaving the residence, they sealed the closet doors and the tools in another room.

After interviewing Colombo, police executed a search warrant at the apartment on Bonanza Way, where they found the plastic tubs as described by Colombo, according to the police report.

Police met Griffith at the Mirage Resort and Casino as he left work late Friday night. Griffith denied any involvement in the death of Flores Narvaez when questioned by police that night and into Saturday morning.

When police arrested him after the interview, Griffith allegedly told a detective en route to the Clark County Detention Center that Flores Narvaez's death was "not a premeditated thing."

Police said Saturday that more arrests are possible in the case, but Colombo has not been arrested so far, according to inmate records at the Clark County Detention Center.

Flores Narvaez’s sister, Celeste Flores Narvaez, told KSNV Channel 3 on Monday that she hopes Griffith is handed the death penalty.

"I don't understand how someone could have such a demonic mind to thought your plan out and do this to my sister," she said.

Flores Narvaez, a part-time dancer in Luxor's "Fantasy" show and a two-year resident of Las Vegas, was last seen the evening of Dec. 12 leaving her apartment near Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue.

Celeste Flores Narvaez, of Atlanta, told the Sun in December that her sister's roommate contacted their family in Atlanta on Dec. 13 when Flores Narvaez failed to show up for a late-night dance practice and show at the Luxor. Celeste Flores Narvaez has said Griffith told their family she left his home the previous night before the season finale of the television show "Dexter."

"I want to see him face to face. I want to see him dead in his eye," Celeste Flores Narvaez told KSNV on Monday. "I want to know every moment -- every detail."

Griffith is being held in the Clark County Detention Center without bail. He is scheduled to appear before a judge Tuesday morning in North Las Vegas Justice Court.

Griffith worked as a performer in Cirque du Soleil's "The Beatles LOVE" show at the Mirage. Officials from Cirque du Soleil declined to comment Monday about his legal situation.

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  1. Some people gravitate to "soap opera" dysfunctional relationships. I think the fact that the dance company didn't offer a reward shows people knew what happened from the get go.

  2. @mred - did you just go with a pseudo 'blame the victim' comment? Whether this young woman gravitated towards 'drama' in a relationship is neither her nor there. Yes, when in a violent/toxic relationship we should all know better, we should all engage in self preservation and get out! But lets not blame the victim....This animal went from beating her to killing her.

    My condolences to her family, this must be a horrible ending for them realizing that there is now no hope of this young lady being alive.

  3. karina great post!

  4. and Colombo's not in jail because.....

  5. First condolences to her family and friends may God lay his healing hand on your grieving family.

    I also don't think that Colombo's hands are as clean as he tells in his statement that he pulled this guy off her and.........
    Later returns to be lead to her body in another room, That's the part I am having trouble with I just don't think he left there and her still alive I think he left there to get cement while the other watch out, I just don't believe he tried to save her life. What he should have done if his hands were clean was to say he was going after cement and tubs as a ruse and then called police because if he wasn't involved with her death then he would not have been held accountable for her death.

    This statement is a ostensible one.

  6. Justice would be to put this guy in a burlap bag, tie the top and keep hitting it with bat until the bag stopped moving. (This is how animals are sometimes treated).

  7. I'm with you Denver21,...only I believe we could get it all handled on Wednesday,...this week before noon.

  8. Our Stephen King novel, LostVegas, is getting to the scary parts... what the hell is next???

  9. I completely agree with Denver21, and i also think that we need to remember who the other victims are in all of this. The ladies child and her family. A prayer goes out to them, now that said.

    Retiredyoungster very well said. and MRED if you don't have anything intelligent to add please stop wasting our time.

    And the roommate should fry just as much as the boyfriend and a fitting punishment for both of them should to be locked in a room handcuffed to a chair let the family have thirty minutes with them, or maybe we should do to them what they did to this young lady except do it while they are alive.

  10. Wow, this is pretty gruesome. To first place her body in a tub and cement it, then to go back and break it out because it was leaking, dismember it and then cast it back in concrete...again? Man, I just don't know how someone could do that!?

    And yes, why is Columbo not arrested, considering he helped the 2nd time around with dismembering and casting the body the 2nd time? What? Is he not an accomplice? What?!

  11. I think there should be a two tier execution process in Nevada. Normal and "fast track" (executed in less than 5 years after conviction). If "Blu" is found guilty as charged, then perhaps he should be considered for "fast track" based on the following circumstances:

    1. Murder of a pregnant woman.
    2. Disrespect for human life.
    3. Obstruction of justice.
    4. Previous violent and anti-social behavior.

    It is very hard for me to believe that the individuals involved did not come forward sooner. If the information we've been given is correct, then they should all face criminal charges, e.g. conspiracy, obstruction of justice.

  12. Limit the Legal Defense funds to $5,000. Present the evidence and let the jury or judge decide. No reason for appeals.

  13. Mr. Gillespie, a member of metro, care to explain the last few graphs of page 2 and the leading graphs of page 3 of the official report? seems that someone was asleep. why is that?

  14. I missed this whole story the last few days since I haven't been online.

    So please refresh my memory: This Griffith dude - was he not the one Metro said is NOT a person of interest at the beginning of this investigation? When ALL of us here fingered this ass as the one who killed her from day one???

    Amazing

    And yes - the roommate is an accessory to a murder and should be sitting at the CCDC. And so should the person who "freaked" at knowing there was a body in cement in those Rubbermaid tubs! She should be arrested for obstruction of justice.

  15. I wonder why this case gets this amount of coverage and the baby in the stroller killed with an ax doesn't?

    Metro did a good job on this case by keeping their mouth shut for the most part and following up on leads in a professional fashion.

  16. In the City of Evil a lot of people are blaming the victim for her death. In this Godless land, it was one of the deadliest pre-Christmas seasons on record.