Dec 10, 2013 7:43 PM by Associated Press

Mesa Police arrest man in connection with rape, murder of 14-year old

MESA (AP) - A suspect is in custody in connection with the death of a 14-year-old Mesa girl whose body was found in a trash container last week.

Mesa police also said at a news conference Tuesday that Claudia Ann Lucero was sexually assaulted and died by strangulation.

They say 31-year-old Alex Anthony Madrid was a friend of the girl's mother and had lived at the family's home at one time.

Police say Claudia reportedly was afraid of Madrid, who allegedly had touched her inappropriately in the past.

The girl's body was found early Friday and identified Monday.

Mesa Police Chief Ralph Milstead says DNA evidence taken from Madrid matches "biological evidence left behind."

Milstead says this is "a capital murder case" and Maricopa County prosecutors will soon charge Madrid.


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