Douglas Aukerman

Douglas Aukerman

The Mesa man suspected of killing a man and leaving his burnt remains in car northwest of Tucson in 2015 was found guilty of murder on Thursday, officials say.

Douglas Aukerman, 47, was arrested on suspicion of killing 57-year-old Curtis W. Oliver in desert area near Avra Valley in August 2015, the Pima County Sheriff's Department said.

Detectives determined he committed the act with Deanna Huber, 32, who was arrested a week after Aukerman.

Aukerman, who was living with Oliver in Mesa, drove Oliver's car to the remote area north of Avra Valley Road while directing Huber to follow in Oliver's mother's car, the Pima County Attorney's Office said.

A cyclist reported the pair was driving in the area and a strong smell of decomposition coming from the car driven by Huber.

Firefighters later found the remains in the vehicle burnt down to the frame.

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"Evidence showed that Oliver had been wrapped in duct tape and baling wire, and covered with a tarp and a mattress cover, before the fire," the attorney's office said.

Huber was sentenced to two years probation after pleading guilty to one count of abandonment of a dead body in April 2018. 

Aukerman's sentencing date has yet to be scheduled.

   

Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or sdavis@tucson.com

On Twitter: @ShaqDavis1

Reporter

Shaq is a public safety reporter and the Road Runner columnist, keeping readers up to date on transportation news. In 2017, he started as an apprentice and later worked part-time until graduating from the UA and being offered a full-time position in 2018.