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Man 'snapped,' buried missing Chandler woman Amy 'Ruby' Leagans in backyard, police documents show

Posted at 11:16 AM, Nov 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-30 14:11:09-05

PHOENIX — Police documents show a gruesome timeline in the case of a missing Chandler woman who was found dead in Phoenix earlier this month.

Amy "Ruby" Leagans was reported missing in late October by her family who had not heard from her in about a week. Her remains were found in mid-November near a river bottom in Phoenix.

Sixty-one-year-old Timothy Sullivans, sought in connection with the missing woman's death, was located and taken into custody on Nov. 25.

Sullivan reportedly admitted to police that he was at Leagans' Chandler apartment when she began yelling at him and "he snapped."

Documents say Sullivan choked Leagans to death and left her body in the apartment for two days. He then told officials he wrapped the victim in a tarp and buried her in a backyard near Chaparral and Granite Reef roads in Scottsdale. Sullivan said he exhumed the body after he "became worried," dismembered her body, and placed the remains in separate bags in trash cans throughout the Valley. Her torso was reportedly placed in the desert area.

When the victim's body was recovered, police say remains were found in a bag with mulch, and they had to rely on dental records to identify her.

Investigators determined Leagans moved to Arizona from Illinois during the summer with a friend. She reportedly met Sullivan and the two started a relationship, documents show. However, at one point, there was a report made that Sullivan, who police say has a history of domestic violence offenses, assaulted Leagans.

Earlier in the investigation, Sullivan was contacted by police while his vehicle was backed up at a Scottsdale home with bleach, gloves, bedding, a duffle bag, and cleaning supplies inside. He reportedly told police he had met Leagans in the past but never had a relationship with her.

Before that contact, someone else reported that they were assaulted by Sullivan, and during the alleged attack, "he told her not to think that he would not kill her and bury her next to (name redacted) in the backyard," documents show.

Investigators served a search warrant at the Scottsdale home where they found a backyard area covered in mulch, along with burned pieces of human hair, women's clothing, and a bracelet. Blood was also discovered during searches of the apartment and vehicle owned by Leagans.

Sullivan admitted that his actions were "spontaneous and heinous."

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office records show that Sullivan was booked into jail on a second-degree murder charge.