An Arizona man, aged 30, has been arrested on suspicion of dismembering his friend’s body, disposing of the organs in a toilet, and leaving the remains in several trash bags in a Phoenix alleyway.
Carlos Guadalupe Leon Soto was taken into custody on July 18 and is now facing charges of hindering prosecution, tampering with evidence, and abandonment or concealment of a dead body, according to law enforcement officials.
The investigation was initiated on June 28th when Phoenix Police Department officers responded to a call near 39th Avenue and McDowell Road. The caller reported a foul smell coming from a bag in the area. Upon their arrival, the first responders found a bag containing what seemed to be human remains. Further investigation revealed additional bags in the vicinity also containing human remains, as confirmed by Phoenix Police Department detectives.
Through a thorough examination, the victim was identified as 34-year-old Jose Gutierrez. A police report indicated that the bag examined by investigators did not contain a head. The remains were then sent to a crime lab where Gutierrez’s identity was confirmed.
Surveillance footage from the area showed a man resembling Carlos Guadalupe Leon Soto walking near the location where the bags were found. The footage also showed him entering a nearby apartment complex. With the assistance of local residents, police were able to identify Soto as the suspect.
Soto reportedly told police that he had allowed Luis Gutierrez to stay at his house for three days, during which time Gutierrez died of an overdose. Soto was reportedly concerned about being deported and so instead of notifying the police he dismembered Gutierrez’s body with a kitchen knife and disposed of the organs and body parts in the alleyway.
The investigation is ongoing, and more details are expected to surface as the case unfolds. The Phoenix Police Department is encouraging anyone with additional information to step forward and aid in the investigation.