Remains of Navajo Army veteran who vanished two years ago found, boyfriend charged with murder

military
Source: MEGA; Farmington police

Jul. 6 2021, Published 12:07 p.m. ET

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The body of an Army veteran who went missing in New Mexico two years ago has been found in Nevada and her boyfriend is now charged with murder.

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Cecilia Finona, 59, was last seen alive by family on May 30, 2019, and reported missing two days later. According to a Framingham police statement, the Navajo woman’s boyfriend, Jerry Jay, 59, was also missing from the home they shared and detectives became “very concerned” for Finona’s safety due to “evidence found at the home.”

Court documents obtained by NBC News show detectives discovered blood stains at the couple's residence that went from the porch to driveway and had been covered with potting soil. In addition, police said, according to the outlet, a “single eyeglass lens covered in blood” was also recovered at the scene.

Family alleged Finona and Jay had been fighting shortly before she disappeared, NBC News reported.

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Four days after Finona vanished, officers from the Sparks Police Department in Nevada arrested Jay, who was a primary person of interest in the case, and charged him with possession of a credit card without the owner’s consent and using it to make fraudulent charges, authorities said.

Jay allegedly withdrew more than $1,200 from the card and used it in New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada.

On June 30, 2021, DNA confirmed remains discovered in Clark County, Nevada, last February belonged to the missing woman.

“Today we have very mixed feelings,” Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe said. “This marks the ending of two years of searching, and we’re deeply saddened at the outcome. We will continue working as we have since the day she disappeared to ensure the person responsible for this is held accountable.”

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A post to the Facebook group “Bring Cece Home” noted the “support, energy, and relentless effort of family, friends and loved ones” were critical over the years. “We are relieved to bring closure to many and finally lay her to rest,” the post reads.

In addition to first-degree murder, Jay, who was already in custody in connection to the credit card-related charges, is now accused of kidnapping and tampering with evidence.

Loved ones described the victim as a good-hearted community leader who made a difference.

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