PRESCOTT, AZ — Officials say a suspect has been arrested in connection with human remains that were found discarded in northern Arizona.
According to a statement released Sunday by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were notified about the remains near Prescott on Saturday and an examination confirmed they were human.
A second site with additional body parts was discovered Sunday.
Sheriff's officials say they recovered more than 20 limbs including detached arms and legs. In addition, YCSO says a hunter in the Camp Wood area reported finding two severed human heads. Deputies arrived and confirmed what he had seen, and a follow-up search revealed three more human heads.
The two sites where human remains were found are believed to be connected, Yavapai County Sheriff's Office said on Monday. At each site, puppy pads, used to house train dogs and for incontinent patients in a hospital, were found along with gauze-like material.
YCSO says 59-year-old Walter Mitchell was arrested in Scottsdale Tuesday morning in connection with the case. Officials say evidence from the scene showed the remains were likely connected to a business based in Seattle, Washington, identified as "Future GenX." Authorities say Mitchell owned the business which involved the management of cadavers for research and had recently closed.
Working with Seattle police, YCSO detectives learned that Mitchell left Seattle in 2020 with human remains belonging to five people. Detectives traced Mitchell’s whereabouts to the Prescott/Chino Valley communities and then recently to Scottsdale where he was arrested Tuesday morning.
Mitchell was booked on 28 counts under ARS 13-2926, It is unlawful for a person to knowingly move a dead human body or parts of a human body with the intent to abandon or conceal the dead human body or parts.