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Suspected murder of Karen Navarra stepfather Anthony Aiello examined on Caught in the Net

Mugshot of Anthony Aiello
Anthony Aiello was charged with the murder of Karen Navarro. Pic credit: San Jose Police Dept.

Caught in the Net on ID is investigating the suspected murder of Karen Navarra by her elderly stepfather, Anthony Aiello, in San Jose, California.

The police believe Aiello stabbed Navarra to death and then attempted to make it look like a suicide. Aiello died before he could be put on trial.

The San Jose police suspected that 67-year-old Karen Navarra was brutally murdered in her home on September 8, 2018. Her body was discovered five days later when cops performed a welfare check after she failed to turn up for work.

The investigators said the scene had been made to look like a suicide but also claimed that Navarra had died a violent death. They said the victim was covered in “chop wounds” on her head and upper body. They also said her throat had been slit after she was already dead, and the knife had then been placed in her hand.

The police determined the date and time of Navarra’s death by examining her Fitbit Alta HR fitness tracker, which stopped recording her heart activity at the time of her murder. The cops then arrested her 90-year-old stepfather Anthony Aiello and charged him with the murder.

Aiello was known to have visited his stepdaughter around the time her Fitbit stopped recording, which led to him becoming a suspect. He claims he was only there to drop off a pizza.

The investigators say they also found blood splatter on his clothing and evidence that he’d attempted to clean up. There was also reportedly DNA evidence that put Aiello in the frame.

Anthony Aiello died before his trial

Unfortunately, we are likely to never know for sure, as Aiello died in custody while waiting for the trial to happen. The suspected murderer suffered from congestive heart failure and kidney problems, and his condition worsened while in prison.

Aiello’s family and lawyers attempted to have him released into supervised care, arguing that the prison service did not have adequate facilities to handle his medical care. However, his release was opposed by prosecutors who pointed to the particularly violent nature of Navarra’s death.

In September 2019, Aiello passed away while in police custody at the age of 91. He had been the oldest suspect ever to be held in custody before trial in Santa Clara County.

More from Investigation Discovery

Follow the links to read about more murders and crimes profiled on ID.

Over 50 women have been strangled in the west and southside of Chicago in the last two decades. The police have since set up a task force to determine if it is the work of a single serial killer known as the Chicago Strangler.

Mother-of-two, Andrea Knabel, vanished while walking in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, in the summer of 2019. She had just left her sister’s house and was thought to be going in the direction of her parent’s home. Family members say she had been arguing with them and was distressed. She has not been seen since.

Caught in the Net airs Monday at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

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