YCSO: Body of missing Prescott-area woman found, husband arrested in connection to her disappearance

Posted at 3:20 PM, May 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-27 21:40:04-04

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office says they’ve found the body of a missing Prescott-area woman who was reported missing earlier this week.

Sandra Pagniano, 39, was found buried in a remote area around noon on Friday, a YCSO spokesperson said. Her body was discovered about 10 miles northwest of her home just outside of Prescott.

Pagniano was first reported missing on Sunday after she had not been seen since last Friday.

Her estranged husband, 55-year-old David Pagniano, was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of second-degree murder and booked into jail on a $2 million bond. It's unclear if he has a lawyer yet.

According to investigators, the couple was separated but they were still living together. They have two kids together, ages 8 and 12.

Sheriff’s detectives believe the woman was killed by her husband but they haven’t disclosed any information as to what led to his arrest.

YCSO said search teams focused on several large land areas northwest of the victim's home based on evidence gathered by detectives. 

While searching, crews noticed apparent man made tool marks in the sandy soil of a dry riverbed. A cadaver trained detection K9 alerted crews and then detectives were called. 

Detectives began digging until Pagniano's body was discovered around noon. Her body was then removed and released to the medical examiner for the pending autopsy, according to YCSO. 

The cause of death awaits the medical examiner's report. 

No further information was immediately available.