Mystery surrounds the discovery of the body of a missing 18-year-old from Nebraska who was found burning in a bonfire pit in a remote area in Arizona.
Parker League from Nebraska was visiting Tempe, Arizona, when he was reported missing by his terrified father on June 15. His belongings were found at a home in Tempe shortly after.
His body was found three days earlier on June 12 – burning in a fire pit close to the city of Apache Junction, which is near the Lost Dutchman State Park in Arizona.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has ruled his death as ‘malicious’ and is investigating it as a homicide.
League’s devastated mother spoke to 12 News in tears saying she was ‘heartbroken’ and that she and his father want police to catch ‘whoever did this’.
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Deputies said League’s body was discovered smoldering in a makeshift bonfire in the desert.
Crime experts told WSAZ that DNA collected at the crime scene as well as any possible remnants of blunt force trauma could help with the investigation.
Former Phoenix Police Department Sgt. Troy Hillman said the location of the bonfire could speak to ‘potential suspects as being potentially familiar with that area and/or wanting to have some sort of solitude to commit the heinous act.’
People living nearby have raised concerns about suspicious activities near where the body was found.
Resident Amber Kunau telling Fox News: ‘Just knowing that they found a body in a fire pit, it’s really scary and really sad, and it’s hard to feel safe.’
Another resident, Sharon Allison-Brown, said there were needles and ‘all kinds of stuff’ laying around, which the neighbourhood was ‘tired of’.
Eric Gall, who saw deputies surrounding the area when the body was found, said crime had been increasing in the area.
He told 12 News: ‘It’s not something we want to see happening out here, so it would be nice to know who is responsible so it doesn’t happen again.’