ARIZONA NEWS

Parents arrested for concealing dead teenager’s body, lying to deputies in Kingman

Mar 6, 2023, 5:15 PM | Updated: Mar 10, 2023, 1:40 pm

PHOENIX — The parents of a dead 16-year-old boy in Kingman were taken into custody on Thursday for concealing the teenager’s body in a blanket and lying to law enforcement that he ran away, authorities said.

Mohave County Sheriff’s Office deputies located a male’s body behind a stone wall near Anson Smith and Indian Canyon roads on Tuesday, although his identity at the time was unknown, MSCO said in a press release.

Three days earlier, on Feb. 25, Amber-Leah Valentine, 41, and Jon Imes, 41, of Kingman reported that their teenage son ran way from their home near Lomita Street and Packard Avenue.

Valentine called MCSO again on March 2 to report she had freed her 14-year-old daughter, who was being held captive by their roommates, Richard
Pounds, 34, and Shioban Gujda, 39, authorities said.

She and her daughter were taken to Kingman Regional Medical Center, where Valentine allegedly confessed that she and her husband disposed of their son’s body in the blanket.

The woman said she lied to deputies and her son was dead at the time of his reported absence, authorities said.

Imes also admitted to leaving the body and lying to deputies during questioning, authorities said.

Valentine and Imes were booked into the Mohave County Adult Detention Facility for felony abandonment and concealment of a dead body.

The 14-year-old girl told detectives at the medical center that she was shot in the eye with a BB gun by Pounds and spoke of abuse at home.

Pounds and Gujda were taken into custody following a search warrant at the residence with the Bullhead City SWAT team. Pounds was arrested for child abuse and aggravated assault and booked into the Mohave County Adult Detention Center.

Gujda was released pending further investigation. (UPDATE: Gujda was arrested March 8 on a felony child abuse count and an active arrest warrant.)

The teenage daughter is being treated at an undisclosed location, and the Arizona Department of Child Safety was contacted.

The autopsy of the 16-year-old was performed on Saturday, and MSCO is awaiting results for a cause of death.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Heidi Hommel contributed to this report. 

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Parents arrested for concealing dead teenager’s body, lying to deputies in Kingman