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Tucson man arrested after killing, dismembering man he kidnapped over money dispute, police say

Police say John Cole killed 28-year-old Antoine Smith over a money dispute.
John Anthony Cole
Posted at 11:53 AM, Sep 22, 2022

PHOENIX — A Tucson man has been jailed in connection to the murder and dismemberment of a man kidnapped from a Phoenix home last week.

According to police documents, officers were initially called to investigate a possible kidnapping from a home in West Phoenix on Monday.

A woman reportedly told police she had received text messages from her boyfriend, 28-year-old Antoine Smith, saying he had been kidnapped on Sept. 16 or 17 and was scared. He shared his location from an area in Chandler along I-10, police say.

Police learned that Smith was kidnapped over a money dispute.

People who knew the suspect, 45-year-old John Cole, reportedly tried to communicate with him to ensure Smith’s safety, but Cole said he didn’t know where Smith was located and that Smith had gotten out of his vehicle at an unknown location.

Police say they were able to locate Cole’s vehicle headed to California. He was stopped near Quartzsite where he was taken into custody.

Human remains were reportedly discovered in the vehicle and additional human remains were found after Cole led detectives to a rural area south of Tucson.

During a police interview, Cole told detectives that while driving to Tucson he pulled off the I-10 in a rural area to use the restroom. He claims while there Smith attacked him but he was able to place him in a submission hold and eventually strangle him to death.

Police say Cole then took Smith's body to Tucson and later purchased items to dismember and conceal it.

Cole was booked into jail on multiple charges including first-degree murder.

John Anthony Cole