Woman found dead
in desert is identified
Investigators have identified the woman whose body was found in the desert southwest of Tucson on Friday morning.
A person on horseback called 911 at about 7 a.m. after finding the woman’s body in the desert near South Camino de Oeste and West Tetakusim Road, said Deputy Tracy Suitt, spokesman for the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.
The body showed “no signs of obvious trauma,” Suitt said.
The woman was identified as 49-year-old Irma Francisco, who was reported missing Thursday by the Pascua Yaqui Police Department.
No further information was provided.
Doctors at the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
Anyone with information about Francisco should call 911 or 88-CRIME.
S.V. officer cleared
in April shooting
The Pima County Attorney’s Office has determined that a Sierra Vista police officer was justified in his use of lethal force in April when he shot a man trying to run him down with a car.
Officer Justin Dannels killed Lauro Jesus Avechuco, who fled from a traffic stop, Sierra Vista Police Department officials stated in a news release.
The shooting occurred about 11 p.m. April 13, when Dannels conducted a traffic stop on Arizona 92 near Golden Acres.
After stopping briefly, the driver, Avechuco, sped off in the 3900 block of Mahonia Place, then turned after several blocks and accelerated toward Dannels. That’s when the officer fired at the car several times, police officials said. A passenger in the car ran away after the shooting.
“Mr. Avechuco’s actions against Officer Dannels constituted a felony involving the threat of a deadly weapon,” Kellie Johnson, chief criminal deputy for the county attorney, wrote in her letter of finding. “Officer Dannels reasonably believed he was in immediate danger of serious physical injury or death when Mr. Avechuco drove straight towards him.”
Dannels, a two-year veteran of the department, is the son of Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels.