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Body of missing Phoenix man discovered in desert after his car was set on fire

Benjamin Anderson’s body was located near I-17 after the 41-year-old was reported missing earlier that day.

PHOENIX — The body of a missing Phoenix man was discovered in an isolated part of the desert near Interstate 17 last week.

Benjamin Anderson’s body was located near Table Mesa Road on Friday after the 41-year-old was reported missing earlier that day, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators only positively identified the body on Monday.

Anderson’s car was set on fire at a hotel Friday night along the Black Canyon Highway for reasons that are still under investigation. 

MCSO’s homicide unit is looking into Anderson’s disappearance and death, but it’s unclear if any crime took place. It is standard procedure for homicide detectives to look into a person's death until a cause is established. 

Deputies said Anderson was supposed to meet a friend for breakfast on Friday but canceled around 8 a.m.

The friend was concerned and went to Anderson’s apartment where he found cash along with credit and debit cards and a wet towel that the friend said seemed out of place.

RELATED: Phoenix man missing, car found burned

Anderson’s friend also managed to track down his car to a Sheridan Hotel and claimed to see three people around the car who he didn’t recognize. He called 911 before discovering the car was set on fire.

Two of the three people seen with the car are described as:

  • A woman with a slim build, about 5-foot-11-inches with blonde hair and a pink beanie.
  • A man of average height with dark curly hair. He was described as being either light-skinned Latino or white.

Phoenix police said it has an open investigation on Anderson's disappearance and death.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call authorities at 602-876-TIPS or 602-876-1011.

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