Detectives have found the Bradenton man wanted for questioning in the death of his wife.
Just after 4:30 a.m. on Labor Day, deputies were called to the 4200 block of 52nd Place West in the Centre Court Apartment complex in Bradenton to reports of a woman lying in the grass bleeding. Deputies arrived and found Maria De Jesus with bruises and other injuries.
De Jesus had been listed in stable condition at a local hospital, but her condition later deteriorated and she died on Saturday. An autopsy was scheduled to be done late Monday or early Tuesday to confirm the cause or manner of death, but it is being treated as an apparent homicide.
Her husband, Nelson Navarro, is a person of interest in her death and detectives had been looking for him for questioning.
“We have identified and located him,” sheriff’s office spokesman Dave Bristow confirmed Monday.
Navarro is in jail out of state on an unrelated charge, Bristow said, and detectives were traveling there to question him.
According to court records, Navarro has threatened to kill his wife before. On Feb. 27, 2015, he was arrested after his wife told deputies that he had grabbed a knife from their kitchen, held it to her neck and threatened to kill her if she moved out.
The couple’s three children had been with them in the car when the argument began and he threatened to kill her, those records reveal. Later that night when the couple was home and De Jesus went to bed, Navarro began to argue with her again and when she got up, he armed himself with the knife, according to the affidavits.
De Jesus had not wanted to call law enforcement, deputies reported in the probable cause affidavit. There were no other witnesses, however.
Navarro was charged with aggravated domestic assault and ordered not to have contact with his wife.
About a month later, De Jesus contacted her husband’s attorney asking that the no contact be modified so that they could communicate regarding the care of their children, according to a document filed by his attorney. The request was granted by a judge in April and the charges were subsequently dropped.
Loved ones of De Jesus have taken to social media expressing remorse and blaming Navarro for her death.