PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. -- Two teenagers were arrested Friday on suspicion of plotting to kill an 18-year-old mother.
Pima County sheriff's deputies said Kevin Pettitt and Wyatt Bowman, both 17, planned to lure Pettitt's ex-girlfriend into the desert and shoot her. They also allegedly planned to remove her teeth and burn her body to keep her from being identified.
The sheriff's department said Pettitt and his ex-girlfriend have a 1-year-old child together, and he was upset with her over money and custody issues.
Deputies said the plot began around Christmas and Pettitt paid Bowman an undisclosed amount of money to help.
Someone found out about the alleged plan and told the woman, who reported it to authorities.
"Any time someone conspires to commit murder or even talks about it, it's serious because there is always a chance that can happen," said Deputy Tracy Suitt. "If we don't get involved and start investigating it and something does happen, there's a problem. There's a breakdown in the system."
One of the teens was arrested at his school Friday and the other at his home.
They were each booked into the Pima County Adult Detention Center on one count of conspiracy to commit murder.
Both boys attend Mountain View High School in Tucson, which sent out a letter to parents Saturday. The Marana Unified School District wanted to reassure parents that the circumstances leading up to the arrests did not involve the school.
The school district said counselors are available for students affected by the incident.
The sheriff's department said the 18-year-old woman has an order of protection against both Pettitt and Bowman.
The incident is still under investigation.
Mountain View High School's letter to parents:
Saturday, February 08, 2014
Dear MVHS Parent/Guardian,
Because we value the importance of communicating with our parents, I am writing you regarding the arrests of two MVHS students yesterday. The media is reporting that the Pima County Sheriff’s Department booked each individual on one count of conspiracy to commit murder.
This is very unsettling information and I recognize that you may have questions and may also feel a range of emotions surrounding these arrests. Please know that the school district is not aware of any information other than what has been publicly disclosed by law enforcement; however I can assure you that there is no indication that the circumstances leading to these arrests involve Mountain View High School.
We are committed to providing the best educational experience for our students within a nurturing learning environment. It is our intent to maintain a consistent routine on Monday with as minimal disruption as possible in the school day. We will have our school counselors available to assist students as necessary and we will continue to work diligently to ensure our students receive the support and resources they need.
I want to thank you for your continued support of our great school. Please do not hesitate to contact the school if you need further assistance.