Florence man arrested for murder in missing persons cases

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The following is a news release from the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.

Bodies found in barrels

FLORENCE -- On January 30, 2009, Pinal County Sheriff's Office Homicide Unit concluded a lengthy investigation with the arrest of 56-year-old Ramon "Ray" Duran of Casa Grande. Duran was arrested and charged with two counts of first degree murder and two counts of unlawful disposal of human remains.

Duran was booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center in Florence in connection with the 2007 missing person reports of James Emede and Sandra Dickey aka; Sandra Starns both of Arizona City. A call from a local citizen led investigators to the discovery of two unusual barrels (55 gallon sealed drums). Further investigation revealed that each of the drums contained human remains. One of the barrels contained the positively identified remains of James Emede. Confirmation of the second victim is pending DNA comparison; however other recovered evidence strongly indicates the identity of the second victim to be that of Sandra Dickey.

The Medical Examiners determined both victims had suffered gunshot wounds prior to their being placed in the barrels.

Several other subjects have been interviewed and their involvement is being reviewed by the Pinal County Attorney's Office.