West-side residents concerned, frightened about decapitation - Tucson News Now

West-side residents concerned, frightened over decapitation

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Sadly, bodies found in the Southern Arizona desert aren't that terribly uncommon. 

And this remote area west of the Tucson Mountains has certainly seen its share of crime over the years.

But to those who live near West Mile Wide Road and North Reservation Road, where an unidentified man's decapitated body was found by road-side workers Friday morning, this case is still different.

"Been instances that make us aware that crime is happening out here -- but not this severe," says Nikki Hilde, who lives in nearby Picture Rocks.  "I don't even have words for something this."

Not only was the victim decapitated, but he was missing his hands and feet as well.

Somebody either wanted to send a message or make it very difficult to identify this person.

Authorities and the public are concerned about both.

"I can't comprehend anybody that would do such a thing.  I can't understand it or even try to," says Paul Blackledge, who's lived in the Picture Rocks' area for 20 years.  "Dead bodies showing up...sure it's unsettling."

Hilde agrees saying, "We know pretty much everybody that lives out here.  And I can't think of anybody that has brutality that much in their system."

While an autopsy was performed on the victim, authorities still aren't sure who the man was.

They say his body was dumped along Reservation Road near Mile Wide within 24 hours of when it was found Friday morning.

There's no immediate indication that the murder happened there.  Though rumors are running rampant about what may have happened to the man and why.

"I kind of think myself it's some drug cartel," Hilde says, shaking her head.  "I don't want to jump the gun or nothing but, you know, the decapitated head, the hands and feet -- they don't want to have this person be identified."

Authorities will not speculate if this was a drug or cartel-related killing.  

A Pima County Sheriff's Department investigation is ongoing.

If you have any information, you're asked to call 911 or 88-Crime.

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