Lead investigator speaks out about Levi Chavez case
Posted at: 09/20/2013 10:36 PM
| Updated at: 09/20/2013 11:02 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4
KOB Eyewitness News 4 watched the NBC Dateline special with Aaron Jones, who was lead investigator on the case of Tera Chavez’s death. He said he was happy with the way Dateline told the story, but also revealed how difficult this has been for him, the regrets he feels, and the hope he still has.
Dateline detailed how Tera Chavez’s death was first ruled a suicide and, because of that, at first very little investigation was done. Her family was furious.
“We somewhat had handcuffs on as far as what we could and couldn’t do,” Jones said. “And I’ll always regret the fact that I didn’t throw the gauntlet then instead of waiting. Hindsight is 20 20 but I’ll always have to live with the fact that I didn't....do what I should have done.”
But Jones took her family’s pleas to heart and looked deeper into the case. At times, it wasn’t easy.
“These were good people,” Jones said. “The families were good people all the way around. It’s a tough case to watch.”
As Dateline showed not everyone agreed with his tactics.
“This was all Aaron Jones,” Levi Chavez’s uncle Michael Romero said. “He was the only one on the bus, on the highway.”
The jury, too, took issue. But Jones sticks by his work.
“A lot of people are going to learn a lot about life from Tera Chavez’s death,” Jones said. “It's a shame -- but this little girl has touched a lot of people and that's why I became a police officer was to help other people and be able to change lives for the better and if that's the way I have to go out so be it.”