High school graduate, 18, found dead in desert bonfire pile that authorities labelled 'malicious'
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Featured Image Credit: Scripps News Phoenix/YouTube/ABC 12 News
Authorities have labelled the case of a body of an 18-year-old high school graduate being found dead in a bonfire pile in Arizona as 'malicious'.
On 12 June the body of high school graduate Parker League was discovered in a bonfire pile in Bulldog Canyon at around 7am local time.
The area is part of the Tonto National Forest, and two days after the body was discovered Maricopa County Sheriff's Office identified it as Parker, who had been reported missing by the Tempe Police Department.
According to ABC 15, the 18-year-old was not an Arizona native and was instead visiting from out of state, with his last known location being at a home in Tempe where his personal belongings had been left.
The investigation into Parker's death is ongoing, nobody has yet been arrested in connection to the case but police have increased patrols in the area.
This is Parker League. The 18-year-old was visiting Arizona from Nebraska.— Bianca Buono (@BiancaBuono) June 22, 2023
MCSO's homicide unit is now investigating his disturbing death after his body was found in a bonfire pit in Bulldog Canyon.
Officials call his death malicious and are searching for the suspect.@12News pic.twitter.com/LCtK8XPBUE
Parker's family told ABC 15 that he'd just graduated high school in Nebraska and had taken a trip to Tempe in order to visit friends.
They said he'd flown out on 9 June and they'd last heard from him the following day as he sent a message to his older brother Hunter, and had been due to fly back on 12 June when his body was discovered.
The family said they were not made aware of their son's body being discovered and filed a missing persons report with the police on 15 June.
Hunter said he feared his brother may have been targeted because of an expensive watch he had with him on the trip to Arizona.
He also said the family spotted what they thought looked like unusual activity on the 18-year-old's debit card, claiming that someone used the card 'to get food' and also 'tried to pay their electric bill with it'.
"I got a call from my dad telling me to come home. I asked him 'why' about three times and the third time he tried to explain it, he just started breaking down," Hunter said of the moment his family had to tell him his brother's body had been found, calling his brother 'the nicest kid in the world'.
Police spokesperson Sergeant Joaquin Enriquez said officers would 'work every avenue' to find the truth of what had happened to Parker League.
Anyone with information which may help the authorities with their investigations is urged to call MCSO at 602-876-TIPS.