Helen Jean Lee update: Police confirm body found in desert is that of missing Goodyear woman

PHOENIX - Authorities have confirmed a body found in the desert Saturday is that of 78-year-old Helen Jean Lee.

Police had been investigating Lee's mysterious disappearance after she was reported missing Wednesday by her daughter.

Police say the body was discovered in the same general area where Lee's grandson, 40-year-old Jason Eric Howell, had led detectives to find additional evidence. Howell is considered the prime suspect in the woman's disappearance.

Goodyear police spokeswoman Lisa Kutis said the Medical Examiner's Office used dental records to confirm the identity of the victim.

Lee was reported missing from her Goodyear home Wednesday, the same day Howell was arrested in the theft of an SUV from a Chandler school. He is accused of ramming a police car before being arrested.

It wasn't clear if Howell has been appointed an attorney. He remains jailed.

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