CCSO: Human remains found in N. AZ linked to 2013 Glendale homicide investigation

Posted at 11:49 AM, Jul 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-12 19:41:07-04

Authorities said human remains found in northern Arizona may be linked to a 2013 murder investigation in Glendale.

A rancher was working on his cattle range on July 1 when the skeletal remains were found under a tree, along with pieces of clothing, boots, a daypack and a handgun, according to the Coconino County Sheriff's Office.

The remains appeared to have been there for "some time, if not several years," CCSO said in a media release.

They are believed to be that of Jacob Medina, then 28, who was named a person of interest in the 2013 death of his long-time friend and colleague, Fernando "Frankie" Portillo.

Medina was reported missing around the same time and has not been seen or heard from since.

Glendale police said it could not confirm if the remains belong to Medina, but said the clothing and items found around the remains match descriptions given to police at the time by family and witnesses.

A work shirt was found in the dayback and had a company logo on it that was related to the murder investigation.

Officials will conduct an exam on the remains to confirm their identity.


On April 18, officials found Portollo dead in his home near 67th and Olive avenues.

They named Medina as a person of interest, but he went missing shortly after. His last known contact with family was on April 17, 2013.

On April 30, Coconino County deputies responded to a wooded area north of Jacob Lake after the Forest Service reported seeing a suspicious truck abandoned off the highway.

Deputies investigated and determined it was connected to the investigation, but at the time no other evidence was found and Medina was not located.

Police said Medina and Portillo has been friends for over 10 years and were working together before Portillo's death.

The investigation has since been turned over to the Glendale Police Department.