As we reported earlier, yesterday, the son of a Peoria woman found dead in her car over the weekend was arrested for his mother's murder. We've received some new details about the murder, and the suspect, 32-year-old Dominic Chagolla -- who, it turns out, is a big-time mama's boy.
For starters, he's 32 years old and has no job -- not because the economy sucks, but because his "mother gets him whatever he needs," according to court documents obtained by New Times.
Not anymore, pal.
Chagolla's mother, 50-year-old Maria Chagolla, was found dead near 83rd and Glendale avenues on Sunday. Up until now, details about the murder, including the manner of death, have not been released to the public.
However, court docs tell the story the Glendale Police Department wouldn't when we asked them about the case on Monday. It's pretty gruesome.
Maria Chagolla's body was found hidden under a blanket behind the passenger seat in the same car her son claims she used to drop him off at a park near Cotton Boll Elementary School to run about 8:30 a.m. last Wednesday -- the day she was first reported missing.
Chagolla, court docs show, was stabbed in the face several times, including in both eyes.
When Maria Chagolla didn't come home after dropping her son off at the park, family members began to question the son, Dominic -- who showed up back at the family's home about an hour after leaving with his mother and was the last person to see her alive.
When confronted by family members, Dominic Chagolla became "evasive," court docs show.
When asked about his mother's disappearance, Chagolla rattled off the story that she dropped him off at the park, he went for a run, and then went home. He didn't leave again except to go to the gym hours later, he claims.
Because he's 32 years old and has no job because he was living off of his mother, Chagolla spent the majority of his free time working out -- typically three times a day -- so he can get in shape to wrestle. He even bragged to police he could run a mile in under five minutes.
Chagolla's story began to fall apart when two tile setters working in the area where Maria Chagolla was found dead reported seeing a light-skinned male walking on Belmont Avenue the morning she was reported missing. He was carrying a black gym bag. The two workers told police they last saw the man jump over a fence leading to a residential neighborhood -- when he came back over the fence, the bag was gone.
The workers checked a trash can on the other side of the fence and found the gym bag full of bloody clothes.
Family members later identified both the bag and the bloody clothes as belonging to Dominic Chagolla. They told police when he left with his mother he had the bag. When he returned, they say, the bag was gone.
Dominic Chagolla denies any part in his mother's murder, despite admitting to police that the bloody clothes were his. He claims a pair of bloody shoes found in the bag were his, but that he threw them away along time ago.
When asked if his DNA would be found on the shirt, Dominic Chagolla responded with "no comment."
Chagolla's been charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of hindering prosecution, and one count of concealing a dead body. He's being held on $1 million bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for December 29.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.