A Chino Valley man was arrested last week at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for his alleged involvement in a Feb. 17 murder.
43-year-old Steven Lojek is the second of two men suspected in the killing of 64-year-old Steven Dowd at a Tempe office building. He was taken into custody by Tempe police Thursday.
The other suspect is 38-year-old Matthew Anderson, the former owner of the now-defunct Firehouse Kitchen restaurant in Prescott. He was arrested June 4 in Lewisburg, West Virginia, where much of his family resides.
Firehouse Kitchen opened their doors in December 2009, but abruptly shuttered in July 2013 for unknown reasons.
Police responded to a welfare check at 4 a.m. on Feb. 17 and found Dowd’s body in a warehouse near Curry Road and McClintock Drive.
According to a police report, Dowd was living in some office space inside the warehouse, which he was renting while his home was being renovated. Investigators later discovered that Anderson and Lojek had known the victim, as they had previously done work on his home.
Two witnesses texted the victim they were stopping by the warehouse. But when they arrived, they noticed a box truck parked outside, and when they knocked on the door of the warehouse, they saw two men inside moving a blue tarp.
The witnesses called for backup, and four of their friends arrived on the scene to confront Lojek, who claimed he was there to clean the warehouse but told the group that he couldn’t gain entry.
The witnesses called more friends, four of which confronted Lojek about what he was doing at the warehouse. But Lojek explained he couldn’t gain entry.
The four witnesses then used a hammer to pry the front door open. When they made it inside, a witness noticed the same blue tarp from earlier, but this time it was rolled in a large mass with a box covering it by the front door.
Lojek and the witnesses went inside the office space, and one witness told police the office was rearranged, items were missing, and it appeared that someone had already cleaned up the crime scene. When a witness turned on a flashlight to look for blood, Lojek darted out the door and took off in the box truck.
Lojek and the witnesses went inside the office space, and one witness said the office was rearranged, items were missing and it appeared to be cleaned up. When a witness turned on a flashlight to look for blood, Lojek ran out the door, into the white box truck and took off, the report said.
The witnesses took Dowd’s car and attempted to follow Lojek, but they were unable to track him down. After they lost sign of Lojek, they later discovered bloody rags and trash bags in the victim’s trunk.
Upon arriving back at the warehouse, Dowd’s body was found in the blue tarp with red tape wrapped around his head.
According to the medical examiner report, Dowd died of blunt force trauma. The victim also suffered multiple fractures and injuries to the head, including a broken front skull.
Both Lojek and Anderson are accused of kidnapping, assault and first-degree murder.