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Police release suspect's name in killing

By JR Ortega
Oct. 20, 2010 at 5:20 a.m.


HAVE A TIP? Anyone with any information on James Griffin can contact the Cuero Police Department at 361-277-3552 or after hours at 361-275-5734. Information can also be provided to the DeWitt County Crime Stopper's tipline at 361-275-0880.

CUERO - The Cuero Police Department is looking for the former husband of a 45-year-old woman found dead in her home Monday morning.

Warrants for murder and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle were issued for James Griffin, 42, of Cuero, in connection with the death of Rechard Sammons Griffin, said Capt. Steven Ellis, interim police chief.

The pair divorced in August 2006, a clerk in the DeWitt County district clerk's office said.

However, family told police the two had divorced in August this year and that the former husband still lived at the victim's home, according to a police department news release.

"They have a prior history of disturbances," Ellis said.

Police had responded to disturbances involving the couple in the past, but Ellis did not disclose what those disturbances were about.

The woman was found with several cuts and stab wounds to the upper body, according to the news release.

The Cuero woman was last heard from on Friday.

A family member also reported seeing her vehicle leave the home, police said.

Her son, Robert Naranjo, 21, was out of town for the weekend and was the one who found his mother.

He said he preferred not to talk about Griffin, who had been with his mother on and off for six years.

"He has a history, and he's a bad person," he said without elaborating.

Naranjo said he and his brother slept in the house Tuesday night and woke up feeling they had conquered the night.

"We're here," his brother said.

Wednesday afternoon, he was trying on newly purchased clothes for his mother's funeral, which has yet to be arranged pending the autopsy.

Naranjo said he's optimistic, and a sense of peace is starting to set in.

"We're taking it day by day," Naranjo said. "(Griffin's) going to slip up. He's just a human. I'm sure it will all be over with pretty soon."

A motive for the attack has still not been determined, Ellis said.

Cuero and other law enforcement agencies are still searching for Griffin, who may be in his former wife's 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe with the license plate number BX6-G617, he added.

"We've sent information to those agencies where we believe he may be," Ellis said.

Ellis did not disclose which areas they are searching for fear of leading Griffin on, he said.

The charges may be upgraded in the future, Ellis said.

Ellis urged people to contact local law enforcement if they know of Griffin's whereabouts, he said.

"He's considered extremely dangerous," he said.

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