PHOENIX – A man was arrested for allegedly killing his roommate and dismembering his body in Phoenix, Arizona.
According to KTVK, Phoenix Police Department officers were conducting a welfare check at a house near 30th and Campbell avenues for a man who had not been seen or heard from for about a month. Phoenix firefighters assisted police with getting into the house. Once they got in, officers realized the house had a bad odor. Officers searched the house and located two black trash bags inside one of the rooms. Inside the bags were body parts of the unidentified victim.
KSAZ reported that the welfare check was done on Nov. 1 around 2:30 p.m.
According to court records obtained by KSAZ, blood splatter was seen on the walls, the ceiling and on furniture inside the house. Police said that other body parts were also found in a pile of linen. It also seemed like somebody had tried to clean up the blood on the floor.
During the investigation, officers learned that a woman had moved into the house with the victim last year, according to KSAZ. Court records said she had recently relapsed on “illicit drugs,” and would often pawn off the victim’s belongings as well as steal his car. She had also reportedly moved out of the house last February and moved back in March. A month later, she had another man move in, who was identified as Thomas Wallace, 58.
KTVK identified the woman as Romana Gonzalez.
According to KTVK, investigators learned that the victim’s car was missing. They were able to track it down to a motel down the street from the house, which is where they located Wallace and Gonzalez. Both were taken into custody on Thursday.
Gonzalez reportedly told investigators she was not staying with the victim recently because of Wallace’s behavior, according to KTVK.
According to KSAZ, she had tried to get contact with the victim so she could go back into the house to get her belongings, but never heard from him.
Gonzalez and a friend allegedly broke into the house on Sept. 30 and saw blood on the front living room floor before finding the man’s body, according to court records obtained by KSAZ. Gonzalez also allegedly said that her friend had a recording of Wallace talking about the murder.
According to KSAZ, investigators learned that Wallace had allegedly pawned items on Oct. 26 including a chainsaw, a hedger and a bag with a camera. Investigators reviewed surveillance video that showed Wallace and a woman entering the store with the items.
According to KTVK, Wallace and the woman got $50 for the items at the pawn shop. In court records obtained by KTVK, investigators learned that the bag had a portfolio with the victim’s business card inside. Investigators confiscated and processed the chainsaw. When they did, they could allegedly smell decomposition and found “pieces of flesh and torn ligaments on the blade.”
It is unclear when Wallace allegedly killed the man, according to court records obtained by KTVK.
Wallace is being held on a $1 million cash bond, according to KSAZ.
According to KTVK, Wallace has been charged with a count of first-degree murder, a count of theft of means of transportation, two counts of trafficking stolen property and a count of concealing a dead body. Gonzalez is facing fraud and theft charges.
Investigators are still working to determine what led to this incident. No further information has been released.
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