Suspect in custody after Phoenix man kidnapped, killed, dismembered

Sep 22, 2022, 12:43 PM | Updated: 12:52 pm
John Cole (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)...
John Cole (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

PHOENIX – The suspect in the kidnapping, murder and dismemberment of a Phoenix man was booked into jail Wednesday on multiple felony counts, including murder, authorities said.

John Cole, 45, is accused of abducting 28-year-old Antoine Smith from his apartment near Grand and 39th avenues and killing him in the Tucson area, the Phoenix Police Department said Thursday.

Cole allegedly dumped the victim’s body before heading toward California. Police believe Cole kidnapped Smith late Friday or early Saturday because a friend of Smith’s stole money from Cole.

Officers first responded to the case after receiving a missing person call on Monday.

Cole was stopped on Interstate 10 in Quartzsite after the Arizona Department of Public Safety located his Black BMW late Tuesday, according to court documents.

A search of the car uncovered human remains believed to be Smith’s, according to the probable cause statement for Cole’s arrest.

Cole told investigators he strangled Smith to death after Smith attacked him when they stopped to go to the bathroom on the way to Tucson, according to the probable cause statement. He then allegedly took the body to his home in Tucson and bought cleaning supplies and tools to dismember the victim.

The suspect told investigators where they could find the rest of Smith’s remains in a rural area south of Tucson.

Cole was held on a $3 million bond after being booked into Maricopa County Jail on counts of theft by extortion with a weapon, kidnapping, concealing body parts and first-degree murder.

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Suspect in custody after Phoenix man kidnapped, killed, dismembered