PHOENIX — Police investigating the murder of an 80-year-old Air Force veteran have arrested two suspects after they allegedly pawned the chainsaw used to dismember the victim’s body.
Phoenix police say Thomas Wallace is being held on $1 million cash bail on Sunday on suspicion of second-degree murder, concealment of a corpse, theft of a pickup truck and trafficking in stolen property, while that Romana Gonzalez is imprisoned for fraud and theft.
Authorities said Wallace, 58, had been a roommate of the victim and that Gonzalez also occasionally stayed at the house where the body was found. It was unclear Sunday whether either had an attorney to speak on their behalf. Police have not released the victim’s identity or Gonzalez’s age.
Officers entered the home on Nov. 1 for a wellness check and reported finding two black trash bags in a bedroom, along with severed body parts in a pile of blankets, according to court documents. Homicide investigators then discovered blood on the ceiling, walls and furniture, and the victim’s head in layers of laundry.
The victim’s missing van was found at a motel down the street where Wallace and Gonzalez were also located and arrested Thursday, police said.
Wallace and Gonzalez are accused of pawning some of the victim’s items last month for $50, including a 10-inch saw that still had bits of flesh in the chain and a camera bag with the business card of the victim inside.
Ruby Lowry told Phoenix TV station KPNX that he was a good neighbor who would help anyone, and “he didn’t deserve this.”