The slaying of two people at a Roy home appears to be related to prescription drug theft , police said Wednesday.
Roy Police Chief Greg Whinham said Pamela Knight Jeffries, 53, and her son, Matthew Roddy, 30, reported OxyContin and Valium stolen from their home Nov. 25.
Police believe they were murdered later that day by Jeremy Valdes, 33, and Miranda Statler, 26, who had been living with the family on and off at Karol's Mobile Estates, near 3860 S. Midland Dr. The two have been in Weber County Jail since Tuesday on warrant and probation holds, but charges have not yet been filed.
Whinham said Wednesday that police recovered a knife believed to be used in the murder from the Ogden River in Ogden Canyon late Tuesday afternoon. He said Roddy was stabbed to death and Jeffries was beaten and possibly strangulated.
Whinham said when Jeffries reported her medication missing, she told police she believed Valdes and Statler stole the drugs, which were legally obtained.
Statler's father, Richard Statler, has said his daughter suffered from an OxyContin addiction. He said his family feared she would get into trouble and had begged her to stop seeing Valdes, who helped fuel her criminal behavior.
"I just cannot believe that. If she did do it, she was pressured to do it by him," the West Point man said of the crime. "She used to be a really good person until she met this guy."
Valdes' brother and sister offered condolences to the families of Jeffries and Roddy at a Wednesday news conference at a Clearfield park.
Nicole Valdes, 23, said her family is "blindsided" by the allegations and called the deaths a "horrific tragedy."
Jason Valdes, 35, said he lost contact with his brother for the past month. He was hoping to see him on Thanksgiving, but didn't hear from him until Saturday, when he called his siblings. They declined to say what they discussed, but Whinham said they contacted Roy police after that Saturday conversation.
Jeremy Valdes started using Oxycontin for a knee injury, his brother said. He said Jeremy's mother, Marilee Valdes, served as a mother to Miranda Statler, whose biological mother died. He said his mother contacted Richard Statler when the couple's drug problems began to get out of hand and his family is grieving over his brother's actions.
"You just remember as kids growing up, this is the same person you played with, laughed, cried with," Valdes said. "There's people out there that love them. It's tough."
They said their brother didn't negatively influence Statler, whom he met while working at Lifetime Products in Clearfield a few years ago. They had known each other about 10 years ago and reconnected, Nicole Valdes said.
Both are unemployed. Neither of Valdes' siblings knew how he and Statler knew Jeffries and Roddy.
A former stepson of Jeffries, Breed Jeffries, told media Tuesday that his former stepmother and stepbrother had a history of addiction.
Jason Valdes said he suspected the group found each other through their "circle of friends." He said his brother had battled an addiction to painkillers and his family had entered him into a rehabilitation program, in addition to his court-ordered counseling.
Despite his sadness, he said he holds his brother and Statler responsible for the crime.
"They're the ones that need to be held accountable for their actions," Jason Valdes said.
The bodies of Jeffries and Roddy were discovered Monday.
Whinham said neighbors called police last week after spotting Jeffries' cats wandering outside the home. Officers went there after neighbors called later in the day, but no one appeared to be home. Neighbors again called police Saturday when the two had not returned.
Police got a search warrant Monday after finding the victims' car in Davis County. The bodies were later found in a closet in their home.
Two people arrested in connection with a double homicide at a Roy mobile home park this week have criminal histories.
Court records show Miranda Statler pleaded guilty in August 2007 to third-degree felony attempted distribution/offering to arrange distribution of a chemical substance. Second District Judge Rodney Page ordered her to serve 30 days in the Davis County Jail and complete 36 months of probation, which included treatment for substance abuse.
Other court records show Statler was charged in Farmington's 2nd District Court with third-degree felony escape from custody in connection with an Oct. 15, 2007, incident. She pleaded guilty in September 2008 to third-degree felony identity fraud and two counts of third-degree felony uttering forged or altered prescriptions.
She received 36 months probation in those cases and spent time in the Orange Street program, court records show. The correctional program assists women in need of substance abuse and mental health therapy as well as life skills courses.
In August 2008, Statler pleaded guilty to third-degree felony altering a prescription of a controlled substance in Ogden's 2nd District Court. She also pleaded guilty in May 2008 to the same charge in an unrelated case.
A judge issued an arrest warrant for Statler in October because of probation violations.
Court records show Jeremy Valdes pleaded guilty in July 2008 to third-degree felony possession of an altered or forged prescription. Second District Judge John Morris sentenced him to serve a year of house arrest and three years of probation, which included substance-abuse treatment.
Valdes also pleaded guilty in Ogden to second-degree felony theft of a rental vehicle in June 2008 and has had a string of small claims cases filed against him in court. He pleaded guilty in June 2008 to third-degree felony failure to respond to the command of a police officer. And a third guilty plea in June 2008 was for first-degree felony possession with an intent to distribute a controlled substance.
In June 2005, he pleaded guilty to class B misdemeanor simple assault. In August 2007, he pleaded guilty to class C misdemeanor disorderly conduct. In March 2007, he pleaded guilty to violating a protective order, a class A misdemeanor and a different class B misdemeanor simple assault charge.
He has had several small claims, debt collection, misdemeanor alcohol cases and traffic citations filed against him in Utah courts.
A judge recently issued an arrest warrant for Valdes for probation violations related to several cases.