Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Illegal alien accused of dragging woman to her death

CASTLE ROCK, Colorado (AP) -- A man was arrested in the gruesome dragging death of a woman after a stained and tattered photograph of him was found at the crime scene, police said Wednesday.

Jose Luis Rubi-Nava, 36, was arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of murder and jailed without bail.

Investigators said they were still trying to identify the victim, who was dragged behind a vehicle with a rope, leaving a trail of blood more than a mile long.

At a court appearance Wednesday afternoon, Rubi-Nava listened through a translator as District Judge Paul A. King formally told him the charge he faces.

King sealed the arrest warrant affidavit, which outlines the preliminary allegations against Rubi-Nava, at the request of public defender Kathleen McGuire. King said he would consider McGuire's request for a gag order.

Authorities did not say how the photograph ended up near the woman's body, which was discovered Monday in a suburban neighborhood about 20 miles south of Denver. (Watch investigators look for clues along the blood trail -- 1:31)

The photo had been released to the public, and Sheriff Dave Weaver said tips from citizens helped lead to the arrest.

Weaver offered no motive for the killing.

The picture shows a couple who appear to be in their 30s, with the man leaning his arm on the woman's shoulder. Investigators did not say whether the woman in the picture was the victim.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Carl Rusnok said agents believe Rubi-Nava is an illegal immigrant from Mexico.

Neighbors discovered the woman's body before dawn. Her face was unrecognizable and an orange tow rope was around her neck, said Nancy Foley, who lives nearby.

An autopsy indicated the woman died of asphyxiation and head injuries from being dragged.

The trail of blood led from Interstate 25 to the woman's body, which was found on a street lined with large ranch-style homes on spacious lots.

On Wednesday, highway crews spread fresh tar over the roads to cover the traces of blood.