PUEBLO – Court documents are offering a glimpse at the brutal killing of a Pueblo Chemical Depot employee inside his rented apartment on the north side of Pueblo.
Police report 64-year-old Parvez Daruwala was found dead under a pile of blankets and clothes. An electrical cord was wrapped tightly around his neck and his face was covered in a bloody cloth.
Daruwala was reported missing by his wife in Indiana when he didn’t show up for work on Sept. 25. She called his neighbor in Pueblo, who then called police.
Officers used a neighbor’s key to enter the apartment where they said they found the victim’s naked body at the top of some stairs. Police said all of the doors and windows were secure but noticed items missing from the apartment, including a television.
The release of the jarring documents come on the same day that 38-year-old Lupe Flores was arrested and charged with his murder. Flores was arrested on Sept. 28 when officers say she was drunk and crashed a vehicle into a home on Abriendo Avenue.
At the time, Flores was charged with driving under the influence, robbery, theft and criminal mischief. The police report states Flores beat up a woman in a separate incident. The police report said Flores assaulted a woman while stealing her truck, including pulling the woman by her hair and punching her several times in the face. The victim in that case told police she was only able to get away thanks to 2 people who heard her cries for help.
Flores is now charged with first-degree murder for the death of Daruwala. The affidavit includes an interview with an acquaintance of Flores, who made claims Flores and Daruwala had a sexual relationship. Those claims have not been corroborated by police.
That same friend said Flores called her the night of the murder from a strange phone number and said she needed help, that she had done something really bad. The friend told police she let Flores know she was busy before hanging up.
The next day, the friend said she saw Flores in person and asked her what happened. That’s when Flores said she was staying with Daruwala and was taking a shower when things went wrong, according to police.
Documents say Flores told her friend that Daruwala was not wearing any clothes and was behaving inappropriately, calling her dirty names and touching himself. Her friend said she told him to come upstairs and she hit him with a fan. She then allegedly told her friend that she strangled him with a cord and loaded up items from the house before driving away.
Daruwala had been the victim of theft prior to this deadly incident. He reported two laptop computers stolen as well as his previous vehicle, a Toyota Corolla about a month before. In that report to police, Daruwala said the doors to the home were locked and someone would have needed a key to get inside. The vehicle was never recovered.
According to police, Flores told her friend after she loaded up Daruwala’s new Subaru Impreza with two televisions, paperwork and his wallet, she drove around the west side with a homeless man to find someone to buy the TVs. She said the homeless man took off in the Subaru when she got out to use the restroom. But she still had Daruwala’s credit cards.
Later that morning, a woman on Moffit Street called police to report a strange vehicle in her driveway. The alarm was going off and no one knew who the vehicle belonged to. Officers arrived and interviewed the woman and two others who lived in the home, they said the vehicle showed up sometime in the morning and the alarm was going off loudly for hours. The Subaru Impreza was towed from the home and was parked in a police impound lot.
Detectives executed a search warrant at Daruwala’s apartment about 11 p.m. Tuesday night. They noted a white fan without a cord at the bottom of the steps. The cord around Daruwala’s neck was believed to be from the fan. Officers also reported finding a jacket, some mail, a bottle of Febreze and a roll of duct tape also at the foot of the steps. Police said he was found with blood on his face and a large cut on the left side of his left eye. They found duct tape on the cloth covering his face as well as a small piece in the hallway near his body.
The Pueblo County coroner said his autopsy is complete, however, the results are sealed at this time.
In the days that followed the killing, police report several instances when Flores was caught on surveillance video attempting to use Daruwala’s credit cards. Some transactions were denied for insufficient funds or using a wrong PIN.
Daruwala worked for Bechtel at the Pueblo Chemical Depot as part of the engineering team handling the mustard gas clean-up project. He lived alone in the apartment owned by another Bechtel employee.
At least one co-worker told police Daruwala had rented a spare bedroom to a couple of women last year. According to the report, Daruwala evicted the women for not paying rent.
Flores has a long history of other crimes. She is originally from Rocky Ford and is currently facing charges of murder, kidnapping, and trespassing in connection with this case.
Flores is scheduled to be in court again next Wednesday, Oct. 10.