Missing Buckeye woman, dog found dead nearly 2 months after car broke down on I-10

Jul 8, 2024, 3:33 PM | Updated: 4:25 pm

Hope Tucker was found dead on July 8, 2024. (Buckeye Police Department photo)...

Hope Tucker was found dead on July 8, 2024. (Buckeye Police Department photo)

(Buckeye Police Department photo)

PHOENIX — A missing Buckeye woman and her dog were found dead nearly two months after her car broke down on Interstate 10, authorities said Monday.

Hope Tucker, 46, and her dog were found by search crews in an area just north of Verrado Way and Thomas Road at about 6:30 a.m., the Buckeye Police Department said.

There were no obvious signs of trauma to Tucker’s body, which was located in an area with steep terrain with hills and a tall berm.

The Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine Tucker’s cause of death.

“While crews were prepared for the fact they may have been looking for someone who was deceased, this is not the outcome we wanted,” Buckeye Police spokeswoman Carissa Planalp said Monday during a press conference. “Our hearts do go out to the Tucker family as they are grieving this serious loss right now.”

What led to Hope Tucker’s disappearance?

Tucker was reported missing on June 22, exactly a month after her car broke down on Interstate 10 between Verrado Way and Watson Road.

Tucker, her adult son, who has autism, and the dog left the vehicle in search of shade on May 22 and the mother died shortly after, police said. The high temperature in Phoenix on May 22 was 97 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. The son turned up at a nearby gas station on May 24 and was dehydrated and in distress, police said. The son was hospitalized for a month as a result.

The son, who has difficulty communicating, told a family member of his mother’s status on June 22. That family member then called police and a search was initiated.

Crews from the Gila River Police Department, Department of Public Safety, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Border Patrol assisted in the search for over two weeks.

No other information was available.

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Missing Buckeye woman, dog found dead nearly 2 months after car broke down on I-10