In Phoenix, Arizona, a man was arrested for allegedly murdering and dismembering his roommate.
Officers from the Phoenix Police Department were conducting a welfare check at a home near 30th and Campbell Avenues for a man who had not been seen or heard from in over a month. Phoenix firefighters assisted police in entering the house. The officers noticed a foul odour as soon as they entered the house. Officers searched the residence and discovered two black trash bags in one of the rooms. Body parts from an unidentified victim were found inside the bags.
It was reported that the welfare check was completed on November 1 around 2:30 p.m.
Inside the house, there was blood splatter on the walls, ceiling, and furniture. Other body parts were discovered in a pile of linen, according to police. It also appeared that someone had attempted to clean up the blood on the floor.
The officers discovered during the investigation that a woman had moved into the victim’s home last year. According to court documents, she had recently relapsed on “illicit drugs” and would frequently pawn off the victim’s belongings as well as steal his car. She was also reported to have moved out of the house in February and back in March. She had another man move in a month later, who was identified as Thomas Wallace, 58.
Romana Gonzalez was identified as the woman.
Investigators discovered that the victim’s car had gone missing. They tracked it down to a motel down the street from the house, where they found Wallace and Gonzalez. On Thursday, both were taken into custody.
Gonzalez reportedly told investigators that she was no longer staying with the victim due to Wallace’s behavior.
She tried to get in touch with the victim so she could go back to the house and get her things, but she never heard back from him.
According to court records obtained, Gonzalez and a friend allegedly broke into the house on September 30 and saw blood on the front living room floor before discovering the man’s body. Gonzalez is also said to have said that her friend recorded Wallace talking about the murder.
Investigators discovered that Wallace allegedly pawned items such as a chainsaw, a hedgehog, and a camera bag on October 26. Surveillance video showed Wallace and a woman entering the store with the items, which investigators reviewed.
Wallace and the woman were paid $50 for their pawn shop items. Investigators learned from court records obtained that the bag contained a portfolio containing the victim’s business card. The chainsaw was confiscated and processed by investigators. They were said to have smelled rotting and found “pieces of flesh and torn ligaments on the blade.”
According to court records obtained, it is unclear when Wallace allegedly killed the man.
Wallace is being held on a one-million-dollar cash bond.
Wallace has been charged with first-degree murder, theft of a mode of transportation, two counts of trafficking stolen property, and concealing a dead body. Gonzalez is accused of fraud and theft.
Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused this incident. There has been no further information released.
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