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Family of Craig Cavanaugh, New Mexico man found dead in Arizona, speaks

KNXV Craig Cavanaugh.jpeg
Posted at 9:26 PM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-31 17:30:05-04

APACHE JUNCTION, AZ — For the first time, family members of missing New Mexico father Craig Cavanaugh are speaking out.

Cavanaugh disappeared over the July 4th weekend while driving to Peoria for work.

His phone soon tracked to a casino in Payson, but Cavanaugh was nowhere to be found.

As the investigation unfolded, authorities learned two men were using his credit cards and his truck was found abandoned in New Mexico. Then this week, investigators announced they'd finally located his body in Coconino County.

"Craig was just the most loving son, a doting father," said Kimberly Rock.

As tears fill her eyes, Rock, who lives in Apache Junction, continues to be overwhelmed with sadness remembering her cousin.

Their last conversation was just a few weeks before he disappeared.

"I talked to him on Father's Day, I wished him a happy Father's Day and wanted to talk to him about what was going on in his life, but as usual he's so sweet and turned the conversation around and asked me about my life," said Rock. "It was a really great talk, told me that he loved me."

Since July, she and her family have been in constant prayer that the man they described as gracious, giving and charismatic would be found alive.

"We're shocked, devastated, he was such a positive person and we wanted to just keep that and keep that hope and knew that's what he would have wanted us to do," said Rock, who says well wishes and messages of hope have poured in from across the country.

According to investigators, Cavanaugh's body was found in a wooded area outside Heber with the help of one of two new suspects. Authorities have not released that person's name. Investigators say they have ruled out the men using Cavanaugh's credit cards as suspects in his death.

But how Cavanaugh was killed, and why, still remains a mystery as detectives declined to disclose the details of any potential evidence.

At this point no charges have been filed.

Cavanaugh leaves behind two daughters and a new fiance now tasked with picking up a shattered life.

"They were really wanting to get married and start their lives and making those plans," said Rock. Plans that now shift to getting justice.

"We want anybody that was involved in this situation to be held accountable, my cousin didn't deserve this," said Rock.

The family has set up a GoFundMe account to assist with Cavanaugh's final expenses. If you would like to help, click here.