TAVERNIER, Fla. – A Florida Keys man accused of strangling his girlfriend last weekend during a fight at their home has been arrested.
Jeremy Stigler, 44, was arrested Thursday on a murder charge.
Monroe County Sheriff's Office detectives said Stigler choked his girlfriend, Jade Dixon, 47, to death in their home on Atlantic Circle Drive in Tavernier.
Stigler walked into a sheriff's office substation Monday morning in Plantation Key and said Dixon was dead and that he was a suspect in her death, sheriff's spokeswoman Becky Herrin said.
Detectives said Stigler told them that Dixon had a knife and was holding it to her stomach. He said she lunged at him with the knife, so he punched her in the face and she fell to the ground. Detectives said Stigler claimed that he stepped on her chest to keep her from getting the knife and helped her walk to the bedroom.
Stigler said he fell asleep, and when he woke up, she was dead.
Herrin said the timeline of the incident is unclear. She said the couple was involved in a domestic dispute Saturday night, and Dixon was taken to a hospital for unrelated medical issues. She said Dixon was last seen alive early Sunday when she was released from the hospital.
Herrin said deputies were called later that afternoon to a crash involving Dixon's car outside their home. Neighbors said Stigler was the driver, but he was gone when deputies arrived.
Detectives said Stigler told them that he took a large number of Valium and Xanax pills and fell asleep after he found Dixon dead. Stigler said that when he woke up, he got into Dixon's car, crashed into two mailboxes and a fence and then returned home.
Stigler said that at some point, he told a friend what happened. The friend took him to the sheriff's substation.