Tempe police have made an arrest in connection with the dragging death of an Arizona State University student earlier this year.
Police say 21-year-old Kyleigh Sousa was outside a Tempe restaurant very early the morning of May 26 when a man approached her to ask for directions but instead grabbed her purse.
The man jumped into a car and took off, dragging Sousa some 20 feet. She was tangled up in the purse's strap.
Sousa, from New Jersey, later died of her injuries. She was kept on life support until her family arrived.
Joseluis Marquez, 20, is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder.
He was allegedly driving a gold Dodge Charger, a rental from California. A Tempe photo radar picture shows him driving that Charger a few weeks before Sousa's death.
Police believe there were passengers in the car with Marquez. They too could face charges.
Marquez has prior arrests for theft and shoplifting. He does not have a permanent residence.
A judge has set Marquez's bond at $1 million. He is regarded as a flight risk, and if released, is believed to be extremely dangerous.
"We're very happy that this person's off the street, but the biggest thing especially around the holidays is that our family is so incomplete and fractured right now without Kyleigh in it," says brother Bernie Sousa.
Statement from the Sousa family
We would like to thank all of the citizens of Tempe and the surrounding area for the overwhelming outpouring of love and support we have received over the last 6 months. We took comfort in knowing there were good people in Arizona trying to do right by our family. We would also like to thank the Tempe PD for their outstanding work and diligence in bringing this person to justice. On May 26th our worlds were forever changed. Each member of our family lost a piece of our soul. Kyleigh was the light and energy of our family. Since she’s been gone we have all felt lost. We can only hope that with this arrest Kyleigh can find the peace she rightfully deserves. Unfortunatelly, our family will never find that peace until we are reunited with her. Instead we will focus our energy on building her foundation and making sure her name is remembered with the love and respect it so rightfully deserves. She will forever be missed, but never forgotten. Thank you again and God Bless.