By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer
Police say a 24-year-old man was high on meth and looking for his ex-girlfriend when he robbed, bludgeoned and cut the throat of 54-year-old Elizabeth McAdams in her home Dec. 20.
Aaron M. Quinones of Clovis was charged with an open count of murder, arson, robbery and tampering with evidence.
Details of the killing were filed Thursday in Curry County Magistrate Court.
Bloody clothing and blood found at Quinones’ Clovis residence was determined Wednesday through DNA evidence to be McAdams’, according to the warrant.
The DNA results along with statements made by Quinones and witnesses led to the charges.
McAdams was found in her Lea Street home by firefighters after neighbors reported seeing black smoke coming from the roof.
McAdams’ throat had been cut and several fires were set throughout the home, according to police, who believe the fires were an attempt to destroy evidence of the killing.
Police found a knife “covered in hair and blood” inside McAdams’ home.
During a police interview Dec. 22, records show Quinones told police, he had done “something bad,” and admitted to having bloody clothes. He refused to say more and ended the interview.
McAdams’ roommate, Tiffany Miller, 22, told police she had been involved in an “abusive relationship” with Quinones for eight years and had broken it off. But Miller said Quinones had been continually text messaging and trying to contact her for a couple of months before the killing.
Miller said she saw Quinones driving by the McAdams’ home a couple of weeks before the killing.
Because she feared Quinones, Miller said she did not stay at the house at 1600 Lea Street for several nights prior to the homicide.
The night of the killing, Miller said she told McAdams not to wait up for her and to lock the screen door, records show.
Miller told police she didn’t want to wake McAdams when she stopped by the home after 9 p.m. and found the door locked, so she left and stayed elsewhere.
Police interviewed Jerry Armijo and Lynette Medina, who were sharing a trailer with Quinones on South Prince Street. They said Quinones smoked methamphetamine with them Dec. 19, then left for most of the night, returning in the early morning hours the next day.
Armijo and Medina said Quinones acted strangely when he returned because he took a shower even though there was no hot water. They told police Quinones also asked for a bag to put his clothes in and suddenly had a significant amount of money. He went out the next day to purchase new clothing for himself, they said.
A trash bag containing Quinones’ bleached, blood-soaked clothing was found behind a couch in his home and blood was also found on the shower curtain in the trailer, the warrant said.
When arrested for questioning Dec. 22, Quinones also was found to have a roll of large denomination bills in his sock.
Friends and co-workers of McAdams said she had told them she was worried that Quinones may come to her house.
They also said McAdams did not have a bank account, preferring cash, and had received her paycheck the day before she was killed. Police said they also learned McAdams had about $300 she was holding for Miller prior to the homicide.
Police have said McAdams knew but was not close to her assailant.
Quinones has been jailed since his arrest on charges from another case — the 2004 arson of a Clovis car dealership.
He remains held in jail without bond.