A Tavernier woman was strangled to death by her live-in boyfriend, according to Monroe County Sheriff’s Office detectives.
Deputies arrested Jeremy Stigler, 44, on a murder charge Thursday afternoon. Stigler went to the Plantation Key Sheriff’s Office substation at 10:30 a.m. Monday and told deputies his girlfriend, Jade Dixon, 47, was dead in their house and that he killed her.
Deputies drove to their Atlantic Circle Drive home near mile marker 92 in Tavernier and found Dixon’s body lying face down on her bed. The Medical Examiner’s office performed an autopsy this week and determined cause of death was “manual strangulation,” Deputy Becky Herrin, Sheriff’s Office public information officer, said.
After initially telling police he killed Dixon — also known locally as Jade Green — Stigler apparently changed his story.
Never miss a local story.
He told detectives Dixon was holding a knife to her stomach and lunged at him with the weapon. Stigler said he punched Dixon in her face and she fell to the ground and became disoriented, Herrin said. Stigler said Dixon was still reaching for the knife and he stepped on her chest to stop her from reaching it.
Stigler told detectives he then helped Dixon walk to the bedroom, where he put her to bed. He said he fell asleep and, when he woke up, Dixon was dead.
Herrin said the timeline of Dixon’s death is not clear. Deputies went to their house Saturday night at 11 to respond to a domestic dispute. A neighbor who did not want to be identified said the altercation was loud.
“They were out here Saturday night for a couple of hours,” the neighbor said. “There were a lot of cops and a lot of yelling.”
Then on Sunday, deputies responded to a crash into a fence and mailboxes on Atlantic Circle Drive at 4 p.m. involving Dixon’s 2004 Cadillac SRX. Neighbors said Stigler was the driver, but he was gone by the time police responded. The vehicle was towed and deputies did not make contact with Stigler that day, Herrin said.
Stigler told detectives he crashed the car after taking a large number of Xanax and valium pills after he found Dixon dead.
“He said after the crash, he returned to the house,” Herrin said.
Stigler told a friend what happened and that person drove the defendant to the Plantation Key substation.
David Goodhue: 305-440-3204