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N4T Investigators: Caregiver dies in home invasion

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TUCSON (KVOA) - A home invasion has turned deadly in a historic neighborhood.

Tucson Police Department said they need your help to identify one of the two suspects. But even more shocking, the person who was murdered was a caregiver and is believed to have been involved in selling illegal drugs.

The family of Suzanne Miller is ending the year without her.  

She was brutally beaten on July 4. She died nearly a month later.  Police said there were drugs involved in the case.

Miller was caring for an elderly woman. 

"There are indications she was involved in the sale of narcotics, " said Det. Dan Roberts assigned to the Counter Narcotics Alliance unit. 

It happened in the Sam Hughes Neighborhood on July 4. The main house faces the street the apartment where Miller was found. It was located in the back of the house facing the alley.

"Her son found her down, unconscious and unresponsive and called for medics and police," Roberts said.

A search warrant was conducted at the murder scene.  

"We found obvious signs of a struggle inside, some narcotics paraphernalia, things like that," Roberts said.

The detective said the suspects never made it into the main house where the elderly person lives. They were targeting the victim who was the caregiver.

"Anytime we put someone in a position of trust whether it's a public safety worker or someone who is taking care of the elderly, we expect them to respect that," Capt. John Leavitt, who is also the commander of CNA, said. "In this particular case, not only did this person put themselves in jeopardy, but the put the client in jeopardy as well." 

During the investigation, TPD reviewed home surveillance video from a neighbors camera.

At 7:06 p.m., Roberts said,  "We can see a Nissan Frontier vehicle drive by the residence."

Ten minutes later, the vehicle returned and stopped at the back gate that leads to the front door of the apartment. 

"One suspect gets out goes through the gate, a minute or so later the second suspect runs through the gate," the detective said.

At 7:26 pm, Roberts said, "You see both suspects run to the truck and then it leaves."

Detectives were able to get a license plate off the video.  An attempt to locate went out. Within hours, officers spotted the Nissan in the area.  They conducted what's called a high-risk traffic stop leading to the questioning of 27-year-old Anthony Green.

According to Roberts, police found, "for sale,  weight of meth, and cocaine in his possession."

The detective said he denied any involvement in the home invasion.  

At that time, he was booked into the Pima County Jail on drug charges.

"The investigation continued," he said. "We were able to tie him to the scene through forensics."

Green was then charged with first-degree murder and placed on a $1 million bond.

As for the second suspect, Roberts said  " At this time, we have no information on who that second suspect is we're still working some leads."

He said these are very dangerous people who will do this again.  

"People who commit the home invasions, that's what they do for a living," Roberts said. "They go out and commit home invasions to steal narcotics and cash." 

If you have information, you are urged to call 911, or if you want to remain anonymous, call 88-CRIME.

For more information to preventing or reporting abuse and exploitation, visit pcoa.org.

To check if a caregivers' fingerprint clearance card is valid, check the application number at azdps.gov.

Lupita Murillo

Lupita Murillo is an investigative reporter. She is part of the Digging Deeper team that uncovers important issues focusing on crime that affects the community.

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