The five skeletal remains of five homicide victims found recently on the Tohono O’odham Nation are male and at least three were shot, the chief medical examiner said.
The Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner is still trying to determine the type of injuries on the other two remains, but Dr. Gregory Hess, chief medical examiner, said he suspects it will also be gunshot wounds.
Casa Grande Border Patrol agents discovered the remains in a rocky area near Sells on May 28. Some of the remains were wrapped with tarp-like material and covered with rocks.
The Tohono O’odham Police Department is investigating the deaths categorized as suspicious based on the conditions at the scene, police Chief Joseph Delgado told The Associated Press.
The bodies had been in the desert between six and 12 months before they were found, Hess said.
No one has been identified, but due to clothing and personal effects, Hess said it’s still presumed they were foreigners.
The next step is to try to identify the bodies, Hess said. “It’s very difficult for law enforcement to do anything if you don’t know who the decedents are.”