Former Arizona police officer accused of tampering with death investigation

Mar 19, 2024, 5:30 PM

Former White Mountain Apache Tribal police officer accused...

Joshua Ben Anderson allegedly killed a woman in a traffic fatality. (White Mountain Apache Police Department/ photos)

(White Mountain Apache Police Department/ photos)

PHOENIX — A former White Mountain Apache Tribal police officer is being accused of investigating a traffic fatality he may have caused, officials said on Tuesday.

A federal grand jury in Phoenix indicted 49-year-old Joshua Ben Anderson on two counts:

  • One count of engaging in misleading conduct to hinder or delay an investigation.
  • One count of corruptly altering and concealing evidence.

The indictment took place last week, according to a Tuesday announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.

Prosecutors have not proven whether Anderson is guilty or innocent, however. An indictment essentially boils down to an official accusation in court.

The incident took place on Nov. 23, 2023, prosecutors said.

What did the former White Mountain Apache Tribal police officer do?

Minutes before Anderson was dispatched to a scene on State Route 73, where a woman’s body was discovered, he allegedly had driven down the same stretch of highway.

Prosecutors said Anderson later admitted he felt a “bump” while driving but continued southbound on SR 73 without investigating the incident, prosecutors said.

Shortly after that, Anderson received a call to conduct a welfare check of the body, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.

He discovered the woman was dead minutes after arriving to the scene at around 3:30 a.m., prosecutors said.

Anderson then took part in the police investigation, prosecutors said. He allegedly interviewed witnesses, filed an autopsy report and notified the victim’s family of her death.

At no point during this investigation did he notify other police officers about his likely involvement, prosecutors said.

He even removed the damaged bumper from his patrol vehicle after returning from home, prosecutors said.

The next day, he resigned from the police department, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.

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Former Arizona police officer accused of tampering with death investigation