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Juan Velazquez

Arizona Death Row

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Juan Velazquez

Juan Velazquez

Police Photo
In August, 2001, Juan Velazquez moved in with Virginia Venegas and her two young children, three-year-old Isabella and one-year-old Liana.

On September 26, 2002, Venegas called 9-1-1, reporting that Liana was missing. The Phoenix Police Department responded and a massive search for Liana began. Venegas and Velazquez told the police that Velazquez had gone to a local laundry mat earlier and had left the arcadia door open. Ms. Venegas was busy in the kitchen and assumed Liana had gone with Velazquez. When Velazquez called home from the laundry mat, they realized Liana was missing.

While the police were searching for Liana, her father arrived. He observed bruising on Isabella's head and took her to a nearby hospital. Among other injuries, Isabella had a skull fracture, swollen bruises on her face and bruising on her chest and back.

Phoenix Police detectives interviewed Velazquez and arrested him the next day, September 27, 2001. He admitted tripping Liana several times, causing her to hit her head and finally lose consciousness. He further admitted holding his hand over Liana's mouth to keep her quiet, knowing that she could not breathe and to squeezing her around the rib cage. He also admitted that he had been abusing both for approximately a month.

On September 28, 2001, divers found Liana's body in a canal, weighted down by a cement block which Velazquez had tied to her with wire. She had been killed by a blow to the head.

Source: Arizona Department of Corrections

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