Evidence Released In Tavar Killing

26-Year-Old Charged With Murder Of 45-Year-Old Woman Last Year

Published On: Oct 14 2011 02:30:32 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 07 2011 11:37:19 AM EDT
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -

Investigators released photos, videos and documents Wednesday that are evidence in the killing of a Ponte Vedra Beach woman last year.

Joseph Roberts, 26, is charged with murder in the death of 45-year-old Brittany Tavar. He has pleaded not guilty.

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The evidence photos contain images of Tavar's house, including a bloody mattress, and the wooded area off County Road 207 in St. Johns County where her remains were found. The photos showed plastic trash bags in the woods that held Tavar's remains, investigators said.

Others were surveillance images of Roberts in a Walmart in Oregon and other stores across the country, along with bank and credit card transactions in St. Augustine, South Carolina, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Investigators said Roberts killed Tavar in July after an argument. They said Roberts beat Tavar with a hammer and slit her throat, leaving her body in the woods.

They said Roberts was a transient who had been living with Tavar at her home.

Investigators said they found her body in October after Roberts confessed to killing Tavar.

According to the documents released, investigators said Roberts was "standing over her and she's dead. There's blood everywhere."

Roberts was arrested in Seattle on a shoplifting charge, and Tavar's remains were found days later.

Investigators tracked him for months all over the country, including stops in South Carolina and Wyoming, before he was found in the Northwest. Investigators said he had been driving Tavar's SUV.

Prosecutors are also looking into Roberts' background, perhaps getting a profile on him, according to the documents.

A woman Roberts used to work for and live with for a short time told investigators that Roberts told her he battled with depression and anger problems, according to the documents.

She went on to say, "It seemed as if he stopped bathing due to his poor personal hygiene," according to the documents. The woman spoke with Roberts about that in February 2010, several months before Tavar disappeared, and Roberts became very angry, almost threatening, according to the documents.