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Valley man was killed, dismembered over unpaid debt, police say

Police say the 28-year-old victim was kidnapped last week from his Phoenix apartment. Parts of his remains were later found near Tucson.
Credit: 12 News

PHOENIX — Phoenix police have arrested a suspect accused of kidnapping, murdering, and dismembering a 28-year-old man over an unpaid debt. 

John Cole, 45, has been arrested on suspicion of killing Antoine Smith sometime within the last week. 

Smith was reported missing on Sept. 19 and investigators quickly began looking for Cole. The suspect's car was later found driving toward California and human remains were discovered inside the vehicle, Phoenix police said.

Cole then led detectives to a rural area near Tucson where more human remains were found. Cole claims he killed Smith in self-defense.

Police said Cole purchased several items after the victim was killed to assist in the dismemberment and concealment of Smith’s body. 

Cole has been booked into jail on a charge of first-degree murder.

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