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Arrest made in case of person found dead on popular Tucson hiking trail
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Arrest made in case of person found dead on popular Tucson hiking trail

Daylan Jacob Thornton, 21, was arrested Jan. 3 in connection with the dead of a person whose remains were found in Pima Canyon. Read more here.

A man arrested Friday night may have been involved in the death of a person whose remains were found in Pima Canyon earlier this week, sheriff’s officials said.

Deputies arrested Daylan Jacob Thornton, 21, on suspicion of stealing a truck that belongs to Steven Mark Brashear, 66, who was reported missing in Oro Valley in early December, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release Saturday.

Thorton has also been identified as a person of interest in the investigation into the remains found at Pima Canyon on Tuesday, though the remains have not yet been positively identified, the department said.

The remains were found near the popular Pima Canyon hiking trail in the Catalina Mountains near North First Avenue and East Magee Road.

Brashear was reported leaving Bartlesville, Oklahoma, on Dec. 7, headed to Arizona with another man in a gray Audi Q5 SUV with temporary Oklahoma plates, the Oro Valley Police Department said in a news release on Dec. 27.

Officials said Brashear may have arrived in the Tucson area late Dec. 8, and it was reported he went to a restaurant at the Tucson Mall. He was then picked up in a different vehicle by an unknown person and has not been seen or heard from since, police said.

The Bartlesville Police Department pinged Brashear’s cellphone, and it was reported to be within a three-mile radius of Oracle Road and Hardy Road. Officers searched the area but were unable to find Brashear or his phone, the Oro Valley Police Department said last week.

His family told officers it’s unusual that Brashear has not contacted them, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call 88-CRIME, an anonymous tipster line.

Game authorities killed three mountain lions who fed on the remains found in Pima Canyon, saying the lions posed a threat to hikers and others. The lions did not kill the person, the Medical Examiner’s Office said Friday. The cause of the person’s death has not been publicly released.

Contact reporter Stephanie Casanova at scasanova@tucson.com. On Twitter: @CasanovaReports

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Stephanie is a Tucson native and graduated from the University of Arizona in 2014. She worked for newspapers in Rapid City, South Dakota; Manhattan, Kansas; and Lake Havasu City before moving back to Tucson.

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