UPDATE: Police ID body found in burning trash canPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- Phoenix police have released the name of the murdered man whose body was found in a burning trash can in the backyard of a Phoenix church earlier this week.
According to investigators, Terry Neely, 46, was living at an assisted-living facility. With the help of surveillance video, detectives have determined that the last time Neely was seen alive was when he left the facility in his motorized wheelchair on Aug. 2 at about 8 p.m.
Police have confirmed that Neely's body had been paritally dismembered when it was found stuffed in the trash can in the area of Ninth and Peoria avenues Wednesday morning. He was later identified through fingerprints.
Neely's motorized wheelchair was not found at the scene. At this point, police do not know where it is.
Phoenix Police investigators are asking for assistance in finding the motorized wheelchair -- -- and any information regarding his death. If anyone has any information about this incident or saw Mr. Neely with someone on Sunday evening they are encouraged to call the Phoenix Police Department, Violent Crimes Bureau at 602-262-6141 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS. For Spanish, call 480-TESTIGO.
ORIGINAL STORY: Man's body found in burning garbage can at Phoenix church
PHOENIX -- Investigators have identified a body found in a burning garbage container early Wednesday morning.
Raw: Body found in burning garbage container - Investigators are trying to identify a body found in a burning garbage container early Wednesday morning.
Fire crews were called out to the Covenant of Grace Church at Ninth and Peoria avenues at about 5 a.m. to deal with a garbage can that was burning in the back parking lot.
As they were dousing the flames, firefighters spotted a badly charred body stuffed inside the garbage can.
So far, investigators only say the victim is a 46-year-old white male. There is the possibility that the body had been dismembered. Police, however, have not yet confirmed that.
Church officials are stunned by the gruesome discovery made on their ground.
"It's upsetting to us," said Pastor Leonard Griffin. "We are sad for the family of the victim. We have no idea who the person was or what the situation was. We're here as a lighthouse for the community to try to help spread the peace of God here. We just hope we can take this tragedy and try to turn it into something positive and good for the community."
According to church officials, there was an event last night at about 9:30, but everybody who was there has been accounted for.
It's very early in the investigation and at this point, detectives have very little to go on. They're not even sure how long the body might have been in the garbage container. Investigators are trying to determine if the body was dumped at the scene or if the victim was actually killed there. His name has not released pending next of kin notification.
Investigators are asking for help from the community. If anyone saw or heard anything, or has any information about this incident, they are encouraged to call the Phoenix Police Department, Violent Crimes Bureau at 602-262-6141 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS. For Spanish, call 480-TESTIGO.