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Human remains found in south Phoenix home; homicide suspected

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — Authorities are investigating a homicide after human remains were found in a home in south Phoenix on Wednesday.

Sgt. Tommy Thompson with the Phoenix Police Department said the remains were found in a home in the area of 48th Street and Ray Road.

Thompson said the home in a residential neighborhood in the Ahwatukee area had caught fire in March 2017 and a neighbor reported the resident missing.

The resident who was living in the home at the time of the fire and was reported missing by a neighbor was 59-year-old Gary Lee Duffield.

Further information about the remains is unknown, but a medical examiner will attempt to identify the individual’s identity and cause of death. (Update: On April 15, authorities said the remains were confirmed to belong to Duffield. No cause of death was given, but homicide was still suspected.)

A new owner had sent workers to the house to rebuild it, and they discovered the bones on Wednesday, Thompson said.

He said the workers first thought they were from an animal but on Thursday called the police, who confirmed that they were from a human.

Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to contact the Phoenix Police Department at 602-262-6141 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.

The discovery was made one day after authorities identified two unrelated sets of human remains in Phoenix and Mohave Valley.

Sgt. Joaquin Enriquez with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said the remains found near 11th Street and Alameda Road on Aug. 10, 2018, were identified as 22-year-old Tereina Jones.

She was last seen near St. Joseph’s Hospital near Third Avenue and Thomas Road. She was reported missing on Sept. 8, 2017.

The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office said a skull found in the western Arizona desert last year belonged to 68-year-old Ilaisa Vaitai.

He had been reported missing in Ontario, California, in May 2017.

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