A 58-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of killing his 80-year-old roommate, dismembering the body, and trying to pawn the chain saw in October.
According to court documents cited by KPNX-TV, on Nov. 1, Phoenix police were asked to conduct a welfare check on the victim after the man’s family had reportedly not heard from him in several weeks. Officers went to the home near 30th and Campbell avenues and smelled a “strong foul odor.” Once they entered, they reportedly found the victim’s decomposing and dismembered body inside trash bags.
He was reportedly identified as Kenneth Peterson.
KPNX reports detectives also discovered blood spatter on the ceiling and walls of the home. When they looked further in the home, they reportedly found more body parts in a laundry basket wrapped in blankets.
KSAZ-TV, which also cites court documents, reports Peterson’s head was discovered wrapped in linen.
Police learned a woman named Ramona Gonzalez lived at the victim’s home, though she allegedly relapsed on drugs, pawned his possessions, and would “routinely steal his vehicle.” Gonzalez reportedly moved out of Peterson’s home in February and then returned in March. In April, the suspect, Thomas Wallace, also reportedly moved in.
According to KSAZ, investigators reportedly found Peterson’s missing truck at a motel, and arrested Wallace and Gonzalez on Nov. 3.
A few days prior to their arrest, Gonzalez and Wallace allegedly went to a pawn shop and tried to sell a chain saw, hedger, and camera bag. KPNX reports police collected the items they tried to pawn and “an odor of decomposition was coming from the box when it was opened” and found “torn flesh, ligaments, and biological matter” on the saw.
Wallace reportedly faces charges of second-degree murder, theft of means of transportation, and trafficking in stolen property. Gonzalez was booked on charges of theft and suspicion of fraud.