A 35-year-old Springfield man has been charged with abducting and killing his girlfriend after a fight in the parking lot of a bar, authorities said yesterday in Stafford County, where the woman's body was found in a field.
John J. Rogers, who went by the name Jose, was arrested Thursday night at his home and was being held without bond at the Rappahannock Regional Jail, according to the Stafford County Sheriff's Office. An autopsy showed that Lisa Renee Madaris, 35, of Woodbridge died from blunt trauma to the head.
The arrest on first-degree murder and abduction charges came a week after authorities said Madaris was last seen outside Brittany's Sports Bar in Woodbridge.
Witnesses said that she was with Rogers the night of April 6 and that they had had a rocky, sometimes violent, relationship for the past year and a half. The two left the bar about 11:30 p.m. and "more than one witness" saw them arguing in the parking lot, county spokeswoman Cathy Riddle said. He was heard threatening her life and physically assaulting her, she said.
Sheriff's officials said Rogers then forced her into the back seat of her car and drove her away, leaving his vehicle behind. Sheriff Charles E. Jett said at a news conference yesterday that Rogers had been riding a motorcycle.
On April 7, a construction worker found Madaris's torched beige 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier on a cul-de-sac at a construction site in the Port Aquia subdivision off Route 1 in Stafford. Detectives and fire marshal's office workers contacted Prince William County police, and they tried to locate Madaris, although apparently her listed address was not current, said Maj. David P. Decatur, a Stafford sheriff's spokesman.
Madaris's family reported her missing Sunday morning, about an hour and a half before her body was found by a man walking his dog about 2 1/2 miles to the north.
"Our sympathy goes out to her family," Jett said. "Though it will not lessen the pain of her loss, her family can rest a little easier knowing" an arrest has been made.
The news release said that "other investigative means and technology" place Rogers in the immediate vicinity of the arson as well of the homicide during the early morning hours. Rogers was also familiar with the area, Riddle said, and has relatives there.
Officials want to speak to anyone who saw or heard the altercation between Madaris and Rogers or may have seen Rogers walking on Route 1 early Thursday toward Woodbridge, carrying a motorcycle helmet.