Police seek next of kin, witnesses in dismembered body case

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Viniko Thornton By Jennifer Thomas Viniko Thornton By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Police Department is asking for the public's help with a violent unsolved homicide.

On Oct. 31, a dismembered body was found behind a Dumpster near Bell Road and 51st Avenue. Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump said the body parts were found within containers.

The investigation later revealed the victim was Viniko (Nick) Thornton, 42.

The victim's identity led investigators to a nearby house and the discovery of the homicide scene. Police determined it to be the last known address for the victim.

Investigators have not been able to locate any next of kin and are in need of additional witnesses that might have information helpful to this case.

The victim is believed to be from the Chicago area and resided in Oakland, Calif., for some time. Crump said police in those cities have also been unable to locate family members.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Phoenix Police Department at 602-262-6141 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.