PHOENIX – Arizona law enforcement officials arrested a suspect in connection with the grisly murder of a missing teenager who was visiting from Nebraska whose body was found dismembered and burning in a remote fire pit near an off-roading area about an hour from Phoenix.
Anthonie Ruinard, 37, was taken into custody on Wednesday by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office for the murder of Parker League, 18, who was discovered in Bulldog Canyon near Apache Junction, reported Arizona Family.
League was supposed to fly home to Nebraska June 12. His body was discovered that same day at the gruesome crime scene, although he was not reported missing by relatives until a few days later. League was stabbed multiple times, his hands and head were dismembered from his body and he was charred beyond recognition due to the fire, detectives said.
The grim discovery in the desolate area was made by a local resident.
“Just knowing that they found a body in a fire pit, it’s really scary and really sad, and it’s hard to feel safe,” resident Amber Kunau told FOX 10. “That’s entering new territory for out here, we’ve seen a lot of stuff.”
Local residents told the news outlet that they have witnessed strange activity in the remote desert region close to where League’s body was discovered.
“There are needles and all kinds of stuff. We’re just tired of it,” Sharon Allison-Brown said. “They just come here and dump and there’s trash all over the place.”
She added: “We live here because of the serenity. Can’t have that serenity with all this commotion going on. Now we have a dead body.”
The Nebraska teen was visiting a home in Tempe, which is where his belongings were discovered, Law Officer reported.
MCSO detectives used surveillance footage at a club League visited in Phoenix and that of a gas station in the same area to piece together the events of the evening of June 12.
Moreover, investigators learned that League’s debit and credit cards were used at several locations after his death.
As a result, authorities were able to identify Ruinard, who was using League’s cards after they met earlier in the evening at a club in Phoenix, reported Fox News.
According to court documents, League was dropped off at the club just after midnight on June 11. More than two hours later, Ruinard and a woman identified as his girlfriend arrived at the same club. The three then left the location together around 3:45 a.m., officials said.
Ruinard and League were seen about 4:30 a.m. on surveillance video in a gas station parking lot. The footage shows the two men go inside, purchase some items and leave together in a Dodge Challenger. Detectives said the Nebraska teen was never seen alive after that, Arizona Family reported.
The homicide suspect tried to use League’s credit cards more than 12 hours later at a Walmart location, but the transaction was denied.
League’s family reported him missing June 14 once they were unable to reach him.
During a search of Ruinard’s home, deputies found slightly less than a kilo of cocaine as well as other narcotics. They also located Ruinard’s Dodge Challenger, which had blood inside.
MCSO arrested Ruinard for the homicide and booked him into jail. He faces a slew of charges, which include first-degree degree murder, possessing narcotic drugs, having equipment and chemicals to make narcotics, theft of a credit card, fraudulent use of a credit card, possessing a weapon by a prohibited person, and concealing a body.
His bond was set at $2 million.