A 37-year-old woman from Phoenix was found dead yesterday in rural La Paz County, and her boyfriend faces charges for her murder.
Irene Luevano was first reported missing on Sunday morning, having last been seen with her boyfriend Jorge Lara at the Silverado Canta bar in Phoenix the night before. They got there around 11 p.m. and were seen there at closing time, around 2 a.m. Afterwards, an altercation reportedly led to her being stabbed in the neck while driving, after which Luevano tried to run away, according to police. At around 4 a.m. Luevano was able to make a phone call to her family, saying she had been stabbed by Lara, and asked her family to call the police. But Lara captured her and put her back into the car before beginning to drive west from the city on I-10. The family attempted to call her back but could not reach her.
Later that afternoon, Lara appeared at a Phoenix-area hospital with “sharp force injury” to his stomach, claiming to have been robbed. He was arrested on unrelated criminal charges.
A rough timeline of what happened appears to have been confirmed by cellphone data, with Lara’s device continuing westward beginning at around 5:30 a.m. and returning to the Phoenix area around 10:40 a.m. Her car was found in an Avondale parking lot with a large amount of blood inside, matching both Luevano and Lara.
A roommate of Lara’s who was apparently in the car initially lied to officers when contacted, saying later that Lara had threatened to kill his family if he told the truth. But he later told police that he had heard Lara saying he was going to kill Luevano as they drove into the desert, and that he saw him stab her repeatedly before driving up a dirt road not far from Salome and hiding her body. The roommate escorted investigators to the scene where they found Luevano.
Lara now faces charges of first-degree murder, concealing a dead body, assault and kidnapping. His bond is set at $1 million.