Police have arrested a man related to Hellen Jean Lee, a woman missing from Arizona since Wednesday.78-year-old Lee disappeared from her home in a suburb of Phoenix, the same day that her grandson was arrested for stealing a car.
Jason Howell committed the theft on Wednesday afternoon, with a 12-year-old girl still inside the vehicle. The young girl has managed to jump out and she is currently safe.
The police are looking at Howell as the main person of interest in the case of the Goodyear woman's disappearance.
Howell took off with the gray Range Rover vehicle, which he stole from Kyrene del Cielo Elementary School in Chandler at about 4:30 p.m.
The Arizona Republic described that the ignition was on and the doors were not locked. The 40-year-old suspect was stopped by police on Ray Road, the Chandler Police Department said in a statement.
He was intoxicated at the time and he had also taken drugs, according to his own admission. He faces charges for theft, aggravated assault on a police officer, kidnapping and driving under the influence of alcohol and methamphetamine.
Lisa Kutis, speaking for the Goodyear Police Department, mentions that the suspect has been living with his grandmother for five years.
An investigation at the missing woman's house indicated evidence of “foul play,” in the form of a damaged garage door.
When police interviewed Howell, they were lead to Gila Bend, where they found an unidentified body. The remains have been found in the desert and the dead person's identity is still to be revealed.
He has not been charged in her case at this point. The Arizona Republic adds that the senior's car has been recovered in Chandler.
“Right now, he is a person of interest only. We are actively interviewing him for information,” a police spokeswoman says.