Before his parents went missing, Kyle Navin sent an ominous text message to his girlfriend: “Wipe out the infection and get $ for life.”
Now the 27-year-old son of a Connecticut sanitation operator and a school aide has been charged with their murder. Authorities are accusing Navin of butchering his parents, then dumping their bodies behind a vacant home in a wooded area of Weston.
The remains of Jeffrey and Jeanette Navin, who vanished Aug. 4, were discovered last week after the property’s owner found a blue tarp containing human bones while cleaning the backyard, police said.
Navin faces two counts of murder with special circumstances and is being held on $2.5 million bond. His live-in gal pal, Jennifer Valiante, 31, was charged with conspiracy to commit murder and hindering prosecution, authorities said. Her bail was set at $2 million. Valiante was scheduled to appear in court on Monday.
An arrest warrant (PDF) for Valiante provides a glimpse into Kyle Navin’s heroin-plagued secret life, his swells of anger toward his parents, and pieces of his alleged plot to murder them.
Once a high school hockey star, Navin was allegedly abusing heroin and painkillers. Cops discovered scores of hypodermic needles, heroin baggies, and Oxycodone bottles at the Bridgeport home where Navin and Valiante lived.
Indeed, when the FBI cuffed Navin on a gun charge on Sept. 8, authorities found fresh heroin marks on his feet and arms, the Hartford Courant reported.
One confidential witness told investigators that he sold heroin to Kyle, who allegedly went from purchasing $140 in heroin to $300 or $600 a day over the summer, the warrant revealed.
Jeanette Navin had recently confided to friends that she was troubled by Kyle’s drug abuse, according to the warrant. Kyle failed to pay property taxes and other bills for his Bridgeport home, where he lived with Valiante and which his parents had purchased for him, Jeanette said. (Police found a ledger indicating Kyle owed his parents $133,000.)
The mom told her friends she and her husband planned to cut their drug-addled son out of their will, and that they’d stop supporting him financially once their trash-hauling business, J&J Refuse, was sold, according to the court document.
Kyle Navin’s relationship with his parents was so tense that his younger brother, Taylor, told police, “When I heard my parents were missing I thought to myself... they either went on vacation, or my brother did something to them.”
According to the warrant, Jeffrey Navin “had a history of being emotionally and verbally abusive towards his son Kyle Navin, including an investigation by the Department of Children and Families.”
It’s unclear what became of the 2006 probe, but Taylor told cops the relationship between Kyle and his parents was “not good at all” and “it’s always been like that.”
The bad blood may have come to a head on Aug. 4. A series of chilling text messages shows Jeffrey feared his son had hurt his wife and was trying to frame him for her murder.
The day the Navins disappeared, the concerned father messaged his son, “I’m not going home till I know mom is okay. Did you hurt mom?”
Kyle responded, “No absolutely not. Why would you think.”
“I go home and get framed for murder,” Jeffrey said, adding, “I’m going to the police first.” He later texted, “U R setting me up.”
Authorities used call records to set up a timeline the day the Navins vanished. Jeanette last made a call to her husband on Aug. 4, at 8:45 a.m. The call lasted two seconds. At 9:20 a.m., her cellphone was registered as being near a cell tower close to Kyle’s home.
Jeffrey’s last call was made at 1:23 p.m., also near the cell tower by Kyle’s residence. Throughout the morning and early afternoon of Aug. 4, he made 63 calls to Jeanette and Kyle, cops said in the warrant.
After the Navins’ last calls, their phones were turned off. Police believe Kyle was home at the time, as his cellphone accessed the same cell tower.
Investigators are also presenting footage showing Valiante’s vehicle trailing Jeffrey’s truck around 3 p.m. that day.
On Aug. 5, Navin and Valiante were captured on surveillance at a Home Depot, buying Clorox bleach, drain opener, contractor trash bags, dryer sheets, and other items police believe were used to cover up a murder.
Forensic analysis would later match a blood stain inside Kyle’s truck to Jeanette’s DNA, and a stained rug inside Kyle’s basement to both Kyle’s and Jeffrey’s blood, authorities said.
A series of text messages appear to indicate Kyle Navin and Valiante were planning the alleged hit on his parents as early as May. Navin fumed over his pay at the family business and claimed his father verbally abused him over a back injury.
“We need to figure out... the best way to take them down,” Navin wrote, adding, “whether it is get some money out of them” or “somehow fuck him at the business.” Navin said they needed to “be real smart and do it quick.”
Navin continued the conversation in July, telling Valiante his “idea” would give them “hundreds of thousands” to spend on new cars and “taking vacations, having fun with friends, no stress, no contact ever again with the bad people.”
“It would solve every single problem and give us a wealthy amazing life,” Navin added.
Valiante replied, “I hear ya. It sounds very good. I just don’t know.”
Days later, Navin wrote, “You know if they ‘went away’ we could customize a nice [Dodge] Cummins 4 door... and take over J&J.”
Shortly after authorities opened an investigation into his parents’ disappearance, Navin was cuffed by the FBI on a federal gun charge—possession of a firearm by a person illegally using or addicted to a controlled substance. He is being held at a federal prison in Rhode Island.
A family member of Valiante said he was “not shocked” by the allegations against Valiante, whose father also worked in the sanitation business—as the weighmaster of the Westport Recycling Center.
The relative, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said drug abuse was “ubiquitous” in Valiante’s family and that “Jennifer had a drug problem for a long time.”
“I’m disgusted over this,” the family member told The Daily Beast. “I’m not surprised, but saddened. When you have an entire family unit like that, what do you do? It’s like going into a pack of wild dogs and trying to tame one of them, while the rest of them are tearing you apart.”
The Valiante family did not return messages left by The Daily Beast.
John Englehart, a family friend of the Navins, said his sons played ice hockey with Kyle and Taylor in high school.
He described both Jeffrey and Jeanette and their sons as popular and hardworking and said he never saw signs of trouble at home.
“It’s beyond heartbreaking,” Englehart told The Daily Beast. “These are real people, and they’re all good people… The shock doesn’t wear off.”