Authorities believe there is a strong chance that Rick Valentini will eventually be convicted of murdering Jamie Laiaddee, a Chandler woman last seen on St. Patrick’s Day 2010 — but her body has yet to be found.
According to a 165-page police report released by the Chandler Police Department, Valentini aka Bryan Stewart, reportedly told a fellow inmate in the Maricopa County Lower Buckeye Jail a little more than a year ago that police would never find her body — only pieces of it.
He claimed he “blasted her with a sawed-off shotgun,” and fed her body to pigs, according to the report, then later said that he cut the body into pieces and placed them in plastic bags.
After Valentini and two other inmates were discussing whether it was OK to hit a woman, he said, “If she hits you first, you have to hit her back,” the report stated.
Then, Valentini pointed at a newspaper article with Laiaddee’s picture in it and said, “She learned that the hard way.”
According to the report, Valentini also told the inmate that he was worried that police would find a .9mm handgun he hid in a cereal box inside his apartment — a statement that later turned out to be valid when the owners of his apartment discovered a semi-automatic Ruger handgun inside an empty Quaker instant oatmeal box.
Valentini’s trial began in Maricopa County Superior Court on Wednesday. He’s been charged with forgery, identity theft and weapons misconduct-related offenses for using Laiaddee’s credit cards and car, and three guns — an AR15 assault rifle, a 9mm handgun and a Winchester sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun, according to the report.
Valentini, 41, also has been charged with second-degree murder in Laiaddee’s death, a trial that is scheduled to begin on July 28.
His attorney, Marie Farney, could not be reached for comment.
Police arrested Valentini on June 3, 2010, five days after Laiaddee’s parents in California voiced concern that their daughter was not working in Colorado where Valentini told them she went for a job interview. They said that Valentini had told them he hadn’t seen their daughter in 10 weeks.
When police initially went to Laiaddee’s home in the 300 block of North Eucalyptus in Chandler where she lived with Valentini, officers found her purse, her vehicle and other personal items, but were unable to locate her or Valentini. Authorities discovered that Valentini had used one of Laiaddee’s credit cards to join the dating website Plenty of Fish under the moniker of Thorinin the Dolphin.
Police searched their residence in Chandler and Valentini’s home in the 9400 block of East Raintree Drive in Scottsdale, and confiscated various weapons including the semi-automatic Ruger handgun.
Police also confiscated 9mm magazines, rifle cartridges and two hatchets from his residence, according to the search warrant.
Among the items that were confiscated from Central Self Storage, a unit Valentini rented, were a sawed-off shotgun, a shovel and plastic bags, according to police.
Valentini was arrested in Scottsdale on an outstanding warrant for a traffic violation and suspicion of credit card fraud, theft of credit cards, identity theft and weapons violations, forgery and a probation violation for a burglary conviction. At that point, Laiaddee had been missing for 10 weeks.
Today, Laiaddee has been missing for more than a year and police believe that she is dead.
“There’s really no change in the case, but there’s enough circumstantial evidence to believe that she’s dead. We just don’t have a body,” said Sgt. Joe Favazzo, a Chandler police spokesman. “Someone just doesn’t fall off the grid, not with today’s technology. If she just left, she’d have no way to survive.”
Prior to his arrest, Valentini had worked as a physical trainer at a Gold’s Gym in north Scottsdale and also had been court marshaled and discharged from the military after stabbing a military police officer, according to police.
Laiaddee’s friends started a Facebook page, Help Find Jamie Laiaddee, to try to determine her whereabouts. The page has 1,200 members.
According to police, Laiaddee made several stops on March 17 in the hours leading up to her disappearance, including Greulich’s Automotive Services, 477 N. Cooper Road in Chandler, for an oil change, and Wells Fargo Bank, 1090 E. Ray Road, Chandler.
She also had an argument with her boyfriend over her plans to move from Arizona to Colorado for a job, police said.
Valentini told authorities he saw Laiaddee sleeping in bed the following morning on March 18 before he left for work, and she was gone when he returned later that day.
Anyone with information on the case can call Chandler police at (480) 782-4130 or Silent Witness at (480) 948-6377.
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