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PD: Human remains found in Ahwatukee home after 2017 fire

Posted at 10:16 AM, Apr 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-04 20:42:53-04

AHWATUKEE, AZ — Phoenix police say skeletal human remains have been found in an Ahwatukee home that was badly damaged in a fire two years ago.

Officials were alerted to the discovery near 38th Way and Ironwood Drive, near Ranch Circle and Ray Road, on Thursday morning.

The remains were reportedly located inside the home by clean-up crews who came in to work after a recent ownership change.

Aerial video over the home showed extensive roof and interior damage from a previous fire at the address that occurred on March 19, 2017.

Fire officials told ABC15 the 2017 fire was under investigation for possible arson and accelerant was found at the scene. However, the evidence was inconclusive and the cause of the fire remained undetermined.

"A cleanup crew came to start doing the cleanup process, so they could do the repairs whatever they needed to do and at that time they ran across some remains, some skeletal remains," Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said. "We have information that an individual who did reside here was missing, shortly after the fire that report came in."

A primary and secondary search of the home was done after the blaze, but fire officials say they could have missed the victim during the searches. It's also possible that a squatter was on the property.

Part of the remains were reportedly covered by debris, which may have been why it was not discovered sooner, police say.

Officials are trying to determine the identity of the person and are not ruling out anything at this time.