Waterbury Police Charge Man in Connection With 2017 Murder

Police have arrested a man in connection with the murder of a 27-year-old Naugatuck woman in Waterbury in 2017.

Police found Lisa Chinova, 27 of Naugatuck, when they responded to 17 Greenmount Terrace just before 7 p.m. on June 22, 2017 after a neighbor called them to report finding a woman who had purple hands and blood on her face, police said. 

A patrol officer responded and confirmed that the woman, who was found lying on a bed in a third-floor apartment, was dead, police said. An ambulance was also called and a paramedic pronounced her dead.

At the time, police did not know who the woman was.

During the preliminary investigation, police learned that a resident on the first floor reported hearing a lot of noise from the third-floor apartment early that morning and it sounded like a party.

Just before the police were called, relatives of the first-floor resident checked the third-floor apartment because dogs were barking, but they could not hear anyone upstairs. It was then that they found a woman dead.

Police said they learned that Josue Cruz, 36, and one son were the only people who lived in the third-floor apartment where the woman was found.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner performed an autopsy and detectives continued the investigation, which included interviewing Cruz in June 2017 and in later in February 2018. 

On June 23, the medical examiner identified the victim as Chinova. Three months after her death, the manner and cause of her death were undetermined.

Then, in September of this year, police developed new information from a person who they said had knowledge about Chinova’s death. They said they also developed information that Cruz was responsible for the death.

According to police, Cruz had committed domestic assaults unrelated to Chinova and detectives granted arrest warrants for him on two separate incidents of domestic assault involving another victim.

Cruz was apprehended on Oct. 2 in Massachusetts and held on the outstanding domestic violence arrest warrants.

Police said they continued to investigate Chinova’s death and obtained an arrest warrant for Cruz.

On October 9, 2019, members of the Waterbury Fugitive Task Force went to Springfield, Massachusetts and extradited Cruz back to Connecticut.

He has been charged with murder, relating to the death of Chinova; tampering with physical evidence, relating to the death of Chinova; unlawful restraint in the second degree; breach of peace in the second degree; strangulation in the first degree; assault in the second degree; and two counts of failure to appear in the second degree.

He was held on $1.25 million bond.

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