MESA, AZ - Mesa police say the mother's boyfriend has been arrested in the death of a 14-year-old girl whose body was found in a dumpster last week.
According to Mesa Police Chief Frank Milstead, 31-year-old Alex Anthony Madrid is facing charges of first degree murder, kidnapping, sexual conduct with a minor, molestation of a child, child abuse, sexual abuse, abandonment/concealment of a body and tampering with physical evidence.
Officers got a call for a body found in a dumpster around 12:30 a.m. Friday at the Sun Garden Apartments near Brown Road and Stapley Drive.
On Monday, the victim was identified as 14-year-old Claudia Ann Lucero, a student at Westwood High School.
She was reportedly last seen at her Mesa home around 6:30 a.m. Thursday.
Milstead said Madrid was the boyfriend of the victim's mother who lived with them up until a few weeks ago.
He became estranged from the family after he allegedly touched the victim inappropriately, according to Milstead.
She was reportedly scared of Madrid.
Police say he's been living in a different Mesa apartment ever since. His new neighbors told ABC15 Madrid always seemed strange. “He was just creepy, you know? Always walking around with his shirt off, thinking he was better than everybody else,” said William Barker.
Police said in a Tuesday afternoon news conference that Madrid's DNA matched the evidence left behind. The cause of death was strangulation.
“I cannot possibly imagine or conceive the feelings of the Lucero family today. There’s no way for me to understand or rationalize the range of emotions that continue to course through their minds and souls as they deal with the loss of Claudia Lucero,” said Milstead.
The arrest happened Friday night after officers learned Madrid was wanted on a probation violation warrant.
His vehicle was discovered at Rio Salado and Alma School Road around 7 p.m. when an undercover officer pulled up next to Madrid's vehicle and confirmed he was in the driver seat, according to court paperwork.
Another officer spotted Madrid on Alma School Road just north of Southern Avenue and activated his lights.
Madrid reportedly continued driving and didn't make an attempt to stop.
An officer eventually got in front of Madrid, causing him to slow down. An officer then aligned his front fender to Madrid's rear left fender, causing him to spin and stop in a dirt median.
Madrid then got out of his car and tried to jump over a fence before he was arrested.