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Police in Arizona have found an unidentified body in the desert near Gila Bend, which they believe is tied to the disappearance of a grandmother that occurred this week.
78-year-old Helen Jean Lee was reported missing on Wednesday when police went to her Tucson home to retrieve a welfare check from her which needed to be given to her daughter, reports the Associated Press. Police saw that there was damage done to Lee’s garage door, which looked as though something had smashed through it.
When authorities searched the woman’s home, they found evidence of foul play.
According to Goodyear Police Department spokeswoman Lisa Kutis, Lee’s grandson, 40-year-old Jason Eric Howell is the prime suspect in Lee’s disappearance, reports ABC 15.
Howell was arrested Wednesday after he carjacked a woman’s car in Chandler, with the woman’s daughter still inside. Before Howell fled and led police in a car chase, the girl was able to get out of the car.
The police pursued Howell for some time before the chase was ended and he was taken into custody. Howell later told police that he had been doing meth and drinking heavily before he took the car.
While he was speaking with police after being arrested, Howell gave them information that led them to additional evidence about his grandmother’s disappearance in the desert near Gila Bend.
When investigators travelled to Gila Bend, they found a body in the area that Howell described. The body has not yet been identified.
Howell had been living with his grandmother, but neighbors described their relationship as rocky, as Lee had been frustrated with Howell and his behavior for many years.
Howell’s home is still being processed as a crime scene.