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Police find additional human remains on South Mountain during investigation into skull

Phoenix police said the hiker found the skull on the afternoon of Jan. 14. As of Jan. 28, it is being treated as a homicide investigation.
Credit: 12 News

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Police Department is attempting to identify a human skull found by a hiker at South Mountain on Jan. 14. Investigators recently found "additional human remains" while searching the area.

The skull displayed obvious signs of trauma, resulting in Phoenix's homicide detectives taking over the investigation.

The unit is conducting a search for evidence in parts of South Mountain Park and Preserve, and authorities say the area will be shut down until the search is complete.

While searching the park on Saturday, Jan. 28, detectives found more human remains in the area, authorities said. The remains have since been given to the Maricopa County Forensic Medical Center.

Detectives are actively trying to identify the human remains and determine how the person died. Anyone with information can contact the Phoenix Police Department or Silent Witness.

Silent Witness:

Arizona's Silent Witness program allows people to send in tips and share information about crimes happening within their local communities.

The program shares unsolved felony case information in multiple ways, including TV, radio and social media.

Anyone who has information on a crime or recognizes a suspect described by the program is asked to call 480-948-6377, go to the program's website online or download the Silent Witness app to provide a tip. The identity of anyone who submits a tip is kept anonymous.

Calls to Silent Witness are answered 24/7 by a live person and submitted tips are accepted at all times. Submitted tips are then sent to the detective(s) in charge of the specific case.

Individuals who submit tips that lead to an arrest or indictment in the case can get a reward of up to $1,000.

Have a tip? Submit it on the Silent Witness tip form here.

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What is the Valley?:

“The Valley” is what locals call the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. It is considered the largest metropolitan area in the Southwest. 

The Valley is made up of various major cities other than Phoenix, including:

  • Mesa
  • Chandler
  • Scottsdale
  • Tempe
  • Glendale
  • Surprise
  • Peoria
  • Gilbert
  • El Mirage
  • Avondale
  • Litchfield Park
  • Goodyear
  • Buckeye

Whether a city is in the “East Valley” or “West Valley” depends on where it is in relation to Phoenix.

The cities of the Valley have a combined population of 4,845,832 people, according to the 2020 United States Census. This makes it the 11th largest metropolitan area in the country right behind the Boston and Atlanta areas.

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