Power saw, storage units, cat: The case against Craig Lazon

Crime

Craig Lazon accused of murdering Tiffany Lazon

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Craig Lazon borrowed a battery-operated circular saw and returned it days later to a long-time friend who noticed it had been taken apart and appeared to have “matter” on it, documents obtained by KOIN 6 News revealed.

Lazon, 42, is in the Linn County Jail, accused of killing his wife, Tiffany Lazon, sometime between December 1, 2019, and January 10, 2020. Tiffany, 37, was reported missing January 8 but hasn’t been heard from since late December.

Tiffany’s body has not been found.

New details revealed information from people identified as “Friend 1,” “Friend 2” and “Friend 3” that helped lead investigators to arrest Craig Lazon on January 21 while he was already in jail on charges of animal neglect and abuse of Tiffany’s cat.

The timeline from investigators

Tiffany Lazon told her landlord on December 1, 2019, she would move out on January 1, 2020, in what appears to be the last written transaction investigators could find.

“Friend 1” told investigators she knew Tiffany was moving out January 1 but hadn’t seen her since around Christmas. But she heard Tiffany yelling something from the upstairs around that time.

A check of Tiffany’s cell phone determined the last time it was used was around 3:07 p.m. on December 29, 2019, in Albany.

“Friend 1” then told investigators that Craig borrowed a tool from “Friend 2,” but hadn’t returned the tool. “Friend 1” said she saw the tool and it looked like it had “matter” on it.

“Friend 2,” who has known Craig for 12 years, allowed police to take the cordless saw for testing.

“Friend 2” said Craig randomly showed up one day in early January and asked to borrow her truck and some tools for moving.

“It just seemed kind of funny because it seemed like they were really in a hurry,” said Tiffany’s neighbor, Rebecca Blankenship. “There was about five males: two were in the truck, the other three were just chucking stuff in.”

Among the borrowed tools was the cordless saw, and Craig took the extra batteries. He later returned the batteries and the original battery but not the saw. “Friend 2” then asked for the saw to be returned and Craig returned it. It looked like it was taken apart but not put back together correctly. Craig told “Friend 2” he took it apart to clean it. “Friend 2” said her boyfriend couldn’t figure out any reason why Craig would need to take the saw apart to clean it.

Craig also rented a large U-Haul in that time period. On January 4-5, “Friend 2” texted Craig to get her truck back. “Friend 2” also said he brought over Tiffany’s cat, but she told him to take it out of her house. “Friend 2” also said Craig was using Tiffany’s bank card.

An undated photo of Tiffany Marie Lazon with her estranged husband, Craig Lazon. (Courtesy of Felicity Halberg)

“Friend 2″s boyfriend helped Craig move items from the house around January 3-4 and didn’t see or hear Tiffany at all. All the items were moved into the storage unit in Albany.

Investigators then contacted Tiffany’s bank and got a list of transactions in this time period. The U-Haul was rented between January 6-8, and investigators found the exact truck and searched it. Craig was also seen on surveillance video using Tiffany’s bank card in Albany.

Investigators learned Craig rented a unit at North Albany Self Storage on January 5, 2020.

Albany police went to the storage unit in the early morning of January 9.

That afternoon a welfare check at Tiffany’s house found the back door open, plus lights and fans still on. Neighbors said they hadn’t seen Tiffany for weeks, but saw people moving furniture and boxes out, mostly by Craig.

The manager of a different self-storage location in Albany called police on January 13 because he could hear a cat inside a storage unit. That unit, rented by Craig, hadn’t been opened in 4 days. The cat was identified as Tiffany’s cat and had been left without food or water.

Forensic tests found blood on 2 spots of the U-Haul truck’s cargo area ceiling. Blood and tissue were also found on the retractable blade saw.

Craig, who was already in the Linn County Jail on animal neglect charges, agreed to talk with detectives on January 21. At that time he said Tiffany went to Washington and was probably with “Friend 3” — but investigators learned “Friend 3” hadn’t seen Tiffany since July 2015.

He was then arrested for murder.

A court-appointed attorney entered a not guilty plea for Craig Lazon in his first appearance on the charges on Wednesday.

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.

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