5 Skeletal Remains Spark Arizona Murder Mystery

Five skeletal remains found in the desert have sparked an Arizona murder mystery. The remains of five people were discovered in the “smuggling corridor” area of the Tohono O’Odham Reservation near Sells, Arizona.

The remains were found partially covered in sand and rocks. A preliminary examination suggests that the victims were murdered.

As reported by International Business Times, Pima County Chief Medical Examiner Gregory Hess reports that all five victims were either shot or beaten:

“We are treating it as a likely homicide. However, we don’t know how those injuries were inflicted yet, and whether or not those injuries were blunt force injuries that caused the bones to be traumatized or were gunshot injuries.”

The victims’ belongings suggest that they traveled to the US from Central America or Mexico. Autopsies performed in the following weeks will assist in determining their gender, age, and approximate time of death. Officials estimate that the victims were killed within the last year.

The five skeletal remains were found in an area that is frequented by those smuggling drugs or humans, across the boarder between the US and Mexico. It is not uncommon to find skeletal remains in the smuggling corridor, as the desert conditions are harsh.

Immigrants are often unprepared for the desert landscape, traveling with inadequate supplies. Many die of starvation or exposure to the elements. However, authorities have stated that in this case, the victims were likely killed at the hands of another.

As reported by NBC News, Chief Medical Examiner Hess has stated that it appears that all five victims were killed at the same time. He believes that the victims were either killed where they were found, or killed elsewhere and dropped at the location.

The five skeletal remains have sparked a murder mystery with sparse clues. Autopsy results are expected to offer more information which will aid in the investigation.

[Image via Flickr]