The reopening of a cold case by Arizona police follows the identification of a corpse discovered in the desert in 1976.
Reports show the body parts were unearthed from a shallow burial in northwest Arizona about fifty years ago by hikers.
At the time of the incident, an autopsy determined that the deceased was a man who was 5 feet, 8 inches tall, aged 30–35, and weighed 140–150 pounds. He was struck in the head by a bullet fired at close range.
Last December, the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office said that the body of Luis Alonso Paredes, a national of El Salvador, had been identified.
During an examination of his body in 1976, officials took fingerprints, but they came up empty in all the databases that were searched.
The Flagstaff-based Museum of Northern Arizona, which was founded to house artifacts and information on the Colorado Plateau’s Indigenous peoples and natural heritage, created a composite portrait of him. However, after 47 years, the trail fell cold.
The case was reopened in November 2023 by detectives who linked the fingerprint data to a national database that had not been accessible in 1976. The individual was quickly recognized as Paredes.
According to the police, he was employed in the Las Vegas region when he went missing. They also said that he could have worked for the Coast Guard and US Navy about ten years before his disappearance.
In December, the San Francisco Police Department announced on social media that they were investigating whether Paredes had connections to the Bay Area.
The police are on the lookout for anybody who could have a connection to the individual. According to the Sheriff’s Office, investigators have not located any relatives so far.
Mohave County encourages calls to the detective section of the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office at 928-753-0753, extension 4288, and reference DR# 76-5053 if you have any information that might assist in solving this case or identify Paredes’ family.