New details have emerged from court paperwork in the murder case of Craig Lazon Jr. of Albany, accused of murdering his estranged wife Tiffany Lazon, 37, who remains missing.
According to a probable cause affidavit in the case, released on Thursday, Craig Lazon had borrowed a circular saw from a friend, reportedly to help his wife move, but he returned the power tool disassembled and without the blade, saying that he needed to clean it.
Police were able to retrieve blood and tissue samples from the blade guard of the tool, however, court paperwork states. Blood also was found in a large U-Haul truck that Craig Lazon Jr. was using to remove items from his wife’s residence.
He used his wife’s debit card throughout Albany while she was missing, including at a local U-Haul provider. And people said she would have never let anyone borrow her card, the affidavit states.
Court paperwork also indicates that Craig Lazon Jr. left his wife’s cat in a storage unit without food and water for four days.
Craig Lazon Jr., 42, was charged with second-degree murder in Linn County Circuit Court on Wednesday afternoon. Judge David Delsman ordered him held without bail at the Linn County Jail. Court paperwork alleges that the killing occurred between Dec. 1 and Jan. 10. The next hearing in the case was scheduled for Feb. 18.
Among the other information from the affidavit:
On Jan. 8, when Tiffany Lazon's daughter requested a welfare check for her mother, Albany Police Department officers responded to Tiffany Lazon’s residence in the 2600 block of 16th Avenue SE and found the sliding glass door left open and the lights on inside the residence.
Early on the morning of Jan. 9, officers responded to North Albany Self Storage, 650 Hickory St. NW, and contacted Craig Lazon Jr., who had rented a storage unit there on Jan. 5. He told officers that he hadn’t seen his wife in two weeks, saying she possibly had left to go to Washington.
Later that day, officers returned to Tiffany Lazon’s residence, and observed that it appeared someone was in the process of moving. During a knock-and-talk in the neighborhood, residents said that they had seen people moving boxes from residence to U-Haul trucks and other vehicles. According to one neighbor, Craig Lazon Jr. was the person primarily involved in moving the boxes.
That evening, police talked to a friend of Craig and Tiffany Lazon who said the couple had gotten back together recently, and Tiffany Lazon had submitted a notice to her landlord that she would be moving out by Jan. 1. The next morning, that woman told police that Craig Lazon Jr. had borrowed tools from another friend, whom police promptly contacted.
That resident told police that Craig Lazon Jr. showed up randomly at her house in early January and asked to borrow her truck for moving and various tools and supplies. He initially brought back batteries for the saw, but not the tool itself. After she bothered him about the saw, he finally returned it but without the blade.
The resident also told police that Craig Lazon had recently brought his wife’s cat over to her house in a carrier, and she told him to remove it. She said that Tiffany Lazon would never leave without her cat.
The investigation also revealed that the last time Tiffany Lazon’s cell phone had connected to her provider’s network was the afternoon of Dec. 29 at about 3 p.m.
On Jan. 13, APD received a call from a manager at Albany Self-Stor, 263 Queen Ave. SW, who said that people could hear a cat that was locked inside a storage unit. When a community service officer responded, he learned the unit in question belonged to Craig Lazon Jr., and it had been at least four days since he used the gate code at the location. That cat was later identified by family as Tiffany Lazon’s pet.
During the investigation, officers spoke with people who helped Craig Lazon Jr. move items out of his wife’s house. No one saw Tiffany Lazon during this process. Family members said that many of the necessities that she would bring if she went somewhere, including her cat, were left behind.
Police interviewed Craig Lazon Jr. on Tuesday at the Linn County Jail, where he was being held on minor charges.
He said that sometime before Jan. 1, his wife left her residence while he had taken a trip to move items to a storage unit.
Craig Lazon Jr. also provided the name of a personal friend of Tiffany Lazon’s who lived in Washington, and he said he believed his wife was picked up by her. Police had already contacted that woman, however. She said she hadn’t seen Tiffany Lazon since 2015.
He said that he returned the circular saw to his friend in the same condition that he received it, with the blade intact.
When an investigator informed Craig Lazon Jr. of a crime lab’s findings, and how they indicated his wife was dead, he didn’t make any further statements. Police advised him he was under arrest for murder.
Kyle Odegard can be contacted at 541-812-6077 or email@example.com.
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