A Connecticut woman accused of conspiracy in the killing of her boyfriend’s parents, who were missing for months before their remains were found last week, appeared in court Monday and denied involvement in the couple's deaths.
Jennifer Valiante, 31, was arrested Friday night, hours after the medical examiner's office confirmed the remains found buried outside a vacant Weston home were those of her boyfriend's parents, Jeffrey and Jeanette Navin.
The couple, who lived in the neighboring town of Easton, had been missing since Aug. 4.
Their 27-year-old son, Kyle, will be charged with two counts of murder and murder with special circumstances. According to police, Kyle Navin planned to kill his parents over money.
Days before she and her husband vanished, Jeanette Navin confided to a friend the couple planned to cut their son out of their will, sell their trash-hauling business and leave Kyle Navin without any financial support from the family, according to an affidavit, which said Jeanette Navin had been distraught over the situation with her son.
Jeanette Navin also told a longtime friend her relationship with Kyle Navin had been "very tempestuous" and she suspected him of abusing drugs. She said she and her husband had bought their son a home but he was failing to pay the mortgage and taxes, according to the affidavit.
Kyle Navin was already in custody on a federal weapons violation when he was charged with murder. He has pleaded not guilty to possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance.
The weapons charge stems from a search of the Bridgeport home Kyle Navin shares with Valiante, where investigators found two firearms, ammunition and evidence Kyle Navin was using heroin, oxycodone and other controlled substances, authorities said.
Valiante and Kyle Navin both have substance abuse problems and have been dating for about four years, according to police. Valiante has denied any illegal drug use and said she uses Xanax and Suboxone, authorities said.
Investigators reviewed text messages the pair exchanged before Jeffrey and Jeanette Navin vanished. In one July conversation, Kyle Navin mentioned a plan to stay in his house, have a new car and hundreds of thousands of dollars, take vacations, keep the Weston home and live stress free.
"It would solve every problem and gives us a wealthy amazing life," Kyle allegedly wrote.
Valiante replied, "I hear ya. It sounds very good I just don't know," according to the documents.
Later in the exchange, Kyle Navin allegedly wrote, "Wipe out the infection and get $ for life. It's perfect plan."
Valiante wrote in a separate conversation, "I’m really sick & tired of them controlling everything," according to the documents.
Her attorney, Elliot Warren, spoke outside court Monday and said the text messages were taken out of context.
"These are a small sampling of dozens of texts a day that went between Kyle and Jennifer. I think that a lot of them that you my think is incriminating have been juxtaposed and are not in context with the conversation," Warren said.
Police, also said in the arrest warrant they interviewed Valiante twice and found discrepancies between her original interview and the follow-up.
According to the paperwork, Valiante told investigators Aug. 12 she had not seen Kyle Navin’s parents since Aug. 4. She said her boyfriend's behavior was normal until he learned his parents were missing, at which point he became stressed, worried and confused.
During a search of Kyle Navin and Valiante's Bridgeport home Aug. 14, police found a receipt from Home Depot in Fairfield, dated Aug. 5, for Clorox, drain cleaner, Simple Green cleaning product, heavy-duty black contractor trash bags and more, according to court documents.
A review of the surveillance footage from the Home Depot store showed Kyle Navin and Valiante both enter the store, buy the items and leave together.
Police said Valiante had followed Kyle Navin to his parents’ Easton home on Aug. 4, the day the couple disappeared. When asked about it, Valiante said she drove Kyle Navin to his parents’ house so he could pick up a check and never mentioned following his truck, according to the arrest warrant application.
She also told police the Drano was to fix a clogged drain, cleaning spray was to wipe up after the dogs and she assumed that the bleach was for laundry, but did not remember using it because of "all the stuff they had going on Wednesday,” according to the arrest warrant application.
When detectives followed up by asking ”what stuff,” Valiante said she is did not know why she had just said that, it was a mistake," the document says.
"We have had numerous contacts with the police department over the last several months and she has maintained that she has nothing to do with this," Warren said outside the courthouse on Monday while discussing the case.
Valiante was charged with conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree hindering prosecution. She is being held on $2 million bail and is due back in court on Nov. 24.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Kyle Navin was charged Friday, Oct. 31 with two counts of murder and murder with special circumstances. He will be charged Tuesday, Nov. 3.