Tucson police said Wednesday that 13-year-old Jayden Glomb was killed by asphyxiation, and they arrested her stepfather.
Joshua Lelevier, 37, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of first-degree murder and abandoning/concealing a dead body, said Sgt. Pete Dugan, a Tucson Police Department spokesman, at an evening news conference.
Jayden’s body was found May 11 along the side of a road in Vail. The Old Vail Middle School seventh-grader was reported missing from her home a night earlier, authorities said.
She was found “less than 24 hours” after she was killed, Dugan said Wednesday. He said Jayden was not killed at the location where she was found.
Homicide detectives served a search warrant Wednesday at the Vail home where Jayden lived with her mother and stepfather.
Lelevier was arrested Wednesday afternoon at the main police station downtown and was being booked into the Pima County jail. His bond has been set at $500,000.
The arrest was made after detectives gathered enough probable cause during an investigation that was done “slowly and methodically,” said Dugan. He said he could not go into details, adding that detectives believe there is “other information out there” and are hoping someone comes forward.
Dugan did say there do not appear to be any other suspects in the slaying.
Police said Jayden was last seen at home by family members on the evening of May 10.
On May 11, photos of her were widely circulated on Facebook forums for residents of Vail and Rita Ranch. The Davis-Monthan Air Force Base branch of the 943rd Rescue Group, where Jayden’s mother, Jessica Lelevier, is employed, posted a “be on the lookout” for the girl.
According to Joshua Lelevier’s Facebook page, he married Jayden’s mother in 2014, and he worked as a technician at the Florida Air National Guard.
Homicide detectives began investigating what was initially called a suspicious death after a body was found in a desert area near a new housing development near East Mary Ann Cleveland Way and Steve Street, Dugan said at the time.
A worker at the housing development, which is about two miles east of Houghton Road, was driving out of the area when he saw what he believed to be a body in the desert area. He called 911.
“Our love and prayers go to Jessica Lelevier, Robert Glomb and their families during this difficult time,” officials with the 943rd Rescue Group said in a written statement Wednesday night. Glomb is Jayden’s father.
The family “would appreciate love and prayers and privacy at the moment,” the statement continued.
Calvin Baker, superintendent of the Vail Unified School District, said Wednesday night: “This is a difficult situation and a difficult time for our community. We continue to grieve the loss, and we certainly hope that this is resolved correctly and appropriately. I am confident that the community will remain strong.”