Helen Jean Lee update: Grandson charged with first degree premeditated murder in death of grandma

GOODYEAR, AZ - Goodyear police have charged a Valley man with first-degree murder in the death of his grandmother, whose body was found in the desert last weekend .

Jason Eric Howell, 40, was charged Tuesday afternoon with first-degree premeditated murder in the disappearance and death of Helen Jean Lee.

Lee's body was found Saturday near Gila Bend, said Goodyear police spokeswoman Lisa Kutis.

The Medical Examiner's Office on Monday confirmed the body was that of 78-year-old Lee on Monday.

Police had been investigating Lee's mysterious disappearance after she was reported missing on October 30 by her daughter.

Howell had been booked into jail the same day, after he allegedly carjacked a woman outside of a Valley elementary school and rammed two police cars before leading them on a pursuit.

While in custody, Howell apparently instructed authorities to look for evidence near Gila Bend.

Authorities have been investigating Lee's home near Litchfield and McDowell roads where the garage door was completely dismantled. Authorities said they found evidence suspecting foul play.

 

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