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Remains found in AZ desert likely homicide victims

TUCSON, Ariz. — Five sets of skeletal remains found concealed in the
desert west of Tucson appear to be homicide victims, authorities said Tuesday.

Border Patrol agents found the remains on May 28 about 12 miles northwest of
Sells on the Tohono O’odham Reservation in an area often used by smugglers

The remains were partially covered with rocks and possibly a tarp.

Dr. Greg Hess, Pima County’s chief deputy medical examiner, said five body bags
containing the remains were opened Tuesday.

“Some have broken bones and they’re not breaks that you would see after
death,” he said. “They’re likely the result of firearms and blunt-force

Hess said the bodies might have been in the desert for a year before being

“We can’t determine if they are all males yet,” said Hess, adding that most
of the remains appear to be adults, although an age range can’t immediately be

“We’re trying to sort it out. It’s going to take us some time,” he said.

Based on their clothing, they were probably not U.S. citizens, he said.

Tribal police said the five deaths were being categorized as suspicious based
on conditions at the scene.

Tohono O’odham police Chief Joseph Delgado said the investigation was
continuing and no other information was immediately available.


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