A grand jury on Wednesday returned an indictment in the murder case involving two Las Vegas Strip performers.
Jason "Blu" Griffith was indicted on one count of murder in the death of "Fantasy" dancer Debora Flores Narvaez.
Griffith is accused of strangling his former girlfriend, dismembering her body and hiding it in cement-filled tubs in a downtown home in December.
The professional dancer has faced murder charges since his arrest on Jan. 8, but the move by prosecutors to bring the case to a grand jury allows them to avoid national media attention at a preliminary hearing that had been set for next week.
The case is expected to be reviewed by the district attorney's death penalty committee to determine if prosecutors will seek capital punishment against Griffith based on aggravating factors such as dismembering the body.
District Judge Linda Bell ordered that Griffith, 32, be held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center. An arraignment was scheduled for Feb. 16 before District Judge Donald Mosley.
Flores Narvaez, 31, was reported missing a day after she didn't show up for a Dec. 13 performance in the Luxor burlesque show "Fantasy." Her disappearance made national headlines, in part because her family made high-profile appeals for help in finding her.
Authorities said Flores Narvaez went to Griffith's North Las Vegas home on Dec. 12 to watch television. The two fought, and Griffith's roommate, Louis Colombo, saw Griffith choking the 31-year-old and pulled him off of her.
Colombo told investigators that Flores Narvaez was OK when he left the home Dec. 12, but was dead when he returned home later that night.
Over the next few days, police said, Colombo helped Griffith hide the body, which was placed in a plastic tub filled with cement. The two men rented a U-Haul truck on Dec. 14 and, about 11 p.m. the next day, Griffith and Colombo used the truck to transport the tub to a friend's Henderson apartment, but the friend told them to leave.
Griffith then got the keys to the downtown Las Vegas home of friends who were out of the country, figuring the body could be stored there for some time, investigators were told. But the tub started leaking when Colombo was moving it into the house in the 300 block of Bonanza Way, near Bonanza Road and Las Vegas Boulevard.
Days later, Griffith and Colombo returned with a sledge hammer, a handsaw, two new plastic tubs and some cleaning supplies. Colombo told detectives they broke the body out of the concrete and Griffith then sawed off Flores Narvaez's legs. The body parts, wrapped in plastic and placed in two separate concrete-filled tubs, then were sealed in a closet.
After confessing his role to detectives, Colombo took detectives to the home.
Colombo admitted his involvement in a bid for leniency. He has not been arrested or charged, but prosecutors are still reviewing the case.
After his arrest, Griffith, a dancer in the Cirque du Soleil show "Love," told a homicide detective the slaying was "a heat of the moment thing," according to his arrest report. A judge will decide whether that comment to the detective can be used against Griffith in court because he had earlier asked to speak to an attorney.
From early on in the case, detectives focused on Griffith because of the couple's volatile history, including at least three incidents in which authorities responded to calls of domestic violence between the couple, including one on Oct. 22 that resulted in Griffith's arrest. Following the disappearance, Griffith told detectives that Flores Narvaez visited him at his home on the night she went missing, but the conversation was brief and she seemed OK before leaving.
Contact reporter Francis McCabe at email@example.com or 702-380-1039.