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Crime News Murders

How Travis Alexander And Jodi Arias' Relationship Ended In His 2008 Murder

Learn more about the investigation into Travis Alexander's brutal murder and Jodi Arias' subsequent murder trial, which captured the nation's attention for years.

By Cydney Contreras

Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias met at a business convention in Las Vegas in 2006, later embarking on a tumultuous relationship that would end with his violent death.

One of Alexander's friends was with the two on the night they met, and later told ABC News that the pair had instant chemistry. 

"She's beautiful. She's friendly, has long, blonde hair. Cute figure. She was very sweet," Sky Lovingier Hughes said of Arias. "During the dinner, they just talked the whole time. She seemed to like him as much as he liked her."

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"The next morning, he tells me that he's found his wife and this is the girl that he wants to marry," Lovingier Hughes continued.

Though Alexander and Arias lived in different states — he had a home in Mesa, Arizona and she was from Palm Desert, California — they continued talking and began seeing each other on a regular basis, committed to maintaining a long-distance relationship. Arias, however, seemed to some people to be more interested in Alexander than he was in her, especially after she adopted Mormonism because Alexander was a devout member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, according to the Huffington Post

Even though Arias became a Mormon, the couple's hot-and-heavy relationship still posed an issue for Alexander. Having had premarital sex with Arias — which was against his faith — Alexander couldn't help but feel guilty, according to his friends.

A photograph of Travis Alexander appears on a computer monitor

"He was always incredibly strong in the church but, after meeting Jodi, some of the conversations were about the challenge of morality because this girl is in his life," his friend Dave Hall told ABC News.

As their relationship progressed, friends began to voice their concerns to Alexander, urging him to leave an increasingly obsessive Arias, who they described as being overly-touchy and protective. 

"She just had to sit right by him. She didn’t appreciate when he was talking to another female. She didn’t like the fact that if there was anyone that didn’t know that they were together. She wanted to make that clear," Alexander's friend Clancy Talbot told ABC News.

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Lovingier Hughes told ABC, "I said, 'Travis, I'm afraid we're gonna find you chopped up in her freezer.' ... From very early on, she was completely obsessed with him."

When Alexander broke up with Arias five months into their relationship, she responded by moving to Arizona and allegedly began showing up at his home unannounced. 

After eight months in Arizona, Arias moved back to California — this time relocating to the northern California city of Yreka. The distance was a relief for Alexander and his friends, as it seemingly offered him the opportunity to finally move on.

"He said, 'I'm getting, I'm getting my life back. Like, this is a whole new start. She's gone,'" Lovingier Hughes remembered.

Unbeknownst to those friends, however, the two remained in contact. Arias testified in court that they continued sexting and talking on the phone in secret and that, while they were no longer in a relationship, Alexander allegedly grew controlling of her, according to ABC News.

Alexander's friends grew concerned In June 2008 after he missed a business conference in Cancun and failed to return calls for five days. A group of friends — and a new woman that Alexander was dating — went to his home on June 9, 2008, where they met his roommate Zach Billings, who thought Alexander had left for Mexico already. 

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When they entered Alexander's bedroom, they found him dead in the shower. 

Mesa Police detective Esteban Flores told ABC News the attack looked deliberate and personal: Alexander had been shot, stabbed nearly 30 times and his throat was slit from ear to ear. His remains had likely been sitting there for days. 

Arias was named a suspect early on in the case, after Alexander's friends told Flores about their tumultuous relationship. 

Jodi Arias stands for the jury during her sentencing retrial

When asked about her whereabouts on the day of the murder, Arias told investigators she was driving to Utah to meet a man she had started dating, but had gotten lost on her way and arrived a day later than intended. Ryan Burns, the man she was meeting, told investigators that he had been unable to make contact with her after calling three or four times, according to ABC News. 

Police later arrested Arias after confirming that a bloody handprint found outside Alexander's house had both his and Arias' DNA on it. Additionally, investigators found a digital camera in the washing machine and were able to recover sexually graphic photos of Arias and Alexander taken of one another on the same day of the murder, according to E! News.

Arias then told police that she had been at Alexander's home on the days of the murders — when two masked intruders had broken in and attacked both her and Alexander, leaving him for dead. They threatened to kill her if she told anyone about the purported attack, she said.

"It was the scariest experience of my life," Arias told 48 Hours in 2013. "It was just so unreal. It was like a move unfolding. Like a horrible movie."

Arias was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. She pleaded not guilty.

When the trial began, Arias' lawyers argued that she had acted in self-defense when she shot, stabbed and slit Alexander's throat. She testified for almost 18 days, alleging Alexander was routinely aggressive and abusive towards her, once breaking her finger during an argument, according to Radar Online.

After a lengthy trial, a jury unanimously voted to convict her of first-degree murder. She's currently serving out a life sentence with no opportunity for parole at the Perryville Prison in Arizona.

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