A Connecticut man was arrested on a warrant for murder months after his fiancé turned up dead last August, just days after they’d broken up.
On Tuesday, the Meriden Police Department announced that it had secured an arrest warrant for Jason Watson, 39, of Meriden, in connection with the death of his ex-girlfriend, Perrie Mason, 31.
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A mother of two who’d moved from Hawaii in 2018 to live with Watson in Meriden, Mason went missing on August 18, 2019, just days after he allegedly assaulted her, say police.
During the argument, Watson allegedly choked her until she blacked out, say police, WTNH reports.
Mason was reported missing the next day.
Before Mason vanished, she sent her sister, Vao Horlback, of Georgia, a text with photographs of injuries she sustained from Watson’s alleged attack, including “red dots around her eye, a fat upper lip, (and) redness on her neck,” an arrest warrant obtained by The Hartford Courant states.
Using a password that Mason had “in case of emergency,” Horlback checked her sister’s phone and was stunned to see that she made two short 911 calls on Aug. 17 at about 7 p.m., Horlback told Hawaii TV station KHON2.
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But police couldn’t hear anything during those 911 calls, she said.
On August 20, 2019, police arrested Watson for allegedly attacking Mason before she disappeared, the Courant reports.
Watson was charged with second-degree strangulation, third-degree assault, first-degree unlawful restraint, and disorderly conduct. He pleaded not guilty to those charges.
Watson had previously been convicted of violating probation and sexual assault, authorities said, the Courant reports.
Watson’s probation officer said she allegedly saw texts Mason sent to Watson after he allegedly attacked her, saying “something to the effect of, ‘you almost killed me,’” the affidavit shows.
Days after Mason went missing, police found her battered body near the Waterbury textile recycling facility where Watson worked, say police.
Mason died as a result of “homicidal violence by an undetermined cause,” a representative from the chief medical examiner’s office said at the time, the Meriden Record-Journal reports.
Watson remained behind bars on $2 million bail on the domestic violence charges while police continued to investigate Mason’s killing.
On Wednesday, Watson was scheduled to be arraigned on the new charge at New Haven Superior Court.
His attorney did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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In the meantime, Mason’s family continues to mourn her loss.
“We just want justice,” her brother, Albert Mason, told the Record-Journal in 2019. “That’s the only thing that’ll make anything better right now.”
Mason grew up in Hawaii, where she lived until she moved to Connecticut, her father, DeVictor King Mason, told the Record-Journal in 2019.
He told the outlet he named his daughter after Perry Mason, the fictional defense attorney Raymond Burr played in the hit TV series in the late 1950s and early 1960s of the same name — and by Matthew Rhys in the new HBO series of the same name.
She started an eyelash business, Lavish Lashes, in Meriden, and worked as a court reporter for the state.