Bonneville Phoenix Network
 KTAR News
 Arizona Sports
92.3 FM KTAR
close_menu
LATEST NEWS
Updated Nov 1, 2013 - 3:12 pm

Police: Goodyear woman, 78, still missing

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Police say a 78-year-old suburban Phoenix woman who
disappeared this week remains missing and might have been killed in a case that
involves evidence found in the desert about 50 miles away.

Police say an adult grandson who lived with Helen Jean Lee in Goodyear is a
“person of interest” in the case. Meanwhile, 40-year-old Jason Eric Howell
faces charges stemming from an unrelated carjacking in another Phoenix suburb.

Lee was reported missing from her home Wednesday, the same day Howell was
arrested in the theft of an SUV from a Chandler school. A preteen girl in the
vehicle was able to jump out.

TV news footage of Lee’s home Thursday showed heavy damage to the garage door.

Goodyear police spokeswoman Lisa Kutis says authorities found unspecified
evidence of a crime in the rural Gila Bend area, based on information Howell
provided.

He has not yet been appointed an attorney.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s
earlier story is below.

A 78-year-old suburban Phoenix woman who disappeared this week remains missing
and might have been killed in a case that involves indications of foul play at
her home and evidence found in the desert about 50 miles away, police said
Friday.

Police said that an adult grandson who lived with Helen Jean Lee in Goodyear is
a “person of interest” in the case. Meanwhile, 40-year-old Jason Eric Howell
faces kidnapping and other charges stemming from an unrelated carjacking in
another Phoenix suburb.

Lee was reported missing from her home Wednesday, the same day Howell was
arrested in the theft of an SUV from a Chandler school. A preteen girl in the
vehicle was able to jump out.

One of the seven charges pending against Howell accuses him of using the SUV to
ram the car of a Chandler police officer who spotted the stolen SUV. The officer
arrested Howell at gunpoint, a police affidavit said.

Authorities found unspecified evidence of a crime in the rural Gila Bend area,
based on information Howell provided, Goodyear police spokeswoman Lisa Kutis
said. She declined to describe the evidence.

Chandler police documents filed in court in the carjacking case said Howell is
the primary suspect in the murder of his grandmother and is a suspect in a
Goodyear police murder investigation.

However, Kutis said Goodyear police hadn’t determined that Lee was dead and
were not identifying him as a suspect in their case.

“Right now, he is a person of interest only,” she said. “We are actively
interviewing him for information.”

Howell has not yet been appointed an attorney. A court commissioner on Friday
ordered him held in lieu of $300,000 bond. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office
said Howell wasn’t in the jail’s housing Friday afternoon and wouldn’t be
available for interview requests.

Police said Thursday that officers found indications of foul play at Lee’s home
when they went there late Wednesday after a daughter who lives in Tucson was
unable to reach her mother.

TV news footage of Lee’s home showed heavy damage to the garage door, as if
something rammed or backing into it.

Comments

comments powered by Disqus