By Richard Weizel
MILFORD, Conn. (Reuters) - A Connecticut man who has been missing for more than a month sent a message to his adult son the day he was last seen saying that he believed he was being framed for his wife's murder, according to court papers.
For more than a month, police have been investigating the disappearance of Jeffrey Navin, 56, and his wife, Jeanette Navin, 55, who were last seen on Aug. 4. On Tuesday, police arrested their son, 27-year-old Kevin Navin, charging him with federal firearms violations.
Prosecutors on Wednesday released a series of text messages between the son and the father they said were exchanged the day the couple was last seen in which the father asks about his wife's well being. The exchange contradicts earlier statements by the younger Navin that he and his father only discussed work the day the couple disappeared, prosecutors said.
"I'm not going home till I know mom is okay," Jeffrey Navin texted Kyle Navin at 12:39 p.m. on Aug. 4. Three minutes later, he added, "Did you hurt mom?"
His son responded, "No absolutely not. Why would you think?"
The father replied, "I go home and get framed for murder."
Jeffrey Navin went on to say he planned to go to police before telling his son, "UR setting me up," according to prosecutors.
The couple's 2003 Dodge pickup was found in a commuter lot in Westport on Aug. 9, two days after they were reported missing, off a parkway near a garbage-disposal business Jeffrey Navin owned. Police said a bullet hole and blood were found in the truck.
Police have since named Kyle Navin, operations manager at the company, a "person of interest" in his parents' disappearance. The younger Navin disappeared for about a week after being interviewed by detectives, before police located him staying with friends in Westport.
Police said they learned the couple had more than $2.2 million in debt at the time they vanished.
Investigators searched Kyle Navin's Bridgeport home on Aug. 13 and seized two firearms and rounds of ammunition from Navin's bedroom, according to court papers filed by prosecutors.
Police later found plastic bags containing heroin traces and hypodermic needles in his apartment. Navin has been charged under a U.S. law prohibiting illegal drug users from owning firearms, which carries a maximum term of 10 years in prison.
Kyle Navin's lawyer, Eugene Riccio, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
(Editing by Scott Malone and Sandra Maler)