Peoria PD: missing woman's remains found in desert

Posted: Updated:
Deborah Delaney By Andrew Michalscheck Deborah Delaney By Andrew Michalscheck
William Delaney By Andrew Michalscheck William Delaney By Andrew Michalscheck

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Authorities have announced that the skeletal remains discovered in northern Peoria last week were those of a woman who went missing from her Valley home two years ago.

Peoria police said Wednesday that dental records have confirmed that the remains of 54-year-old Deborah Lee Delaney were located by hikers just south of State Route 74 on Feb. 6.

Deborah Delaney disappeared from her Peoria residence in April 2011.

Detectives from the Peoria Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit began investigating the case and determined that Deborah Delaney’s husband, 56-year-old William Raymond Delaney, was the only suspect in both the disappearance and probable murder of Deborah Delaney.

After combing through hundreds of records and collecting evidence through search warrants, investigators were able to charge William Delaney with first-degree murder even though his wife’s body hadn’t been found.

On May 9, 2012, detectives learned that William Delaney had fatally shot himself while inside his vehicle at the Mormon Lake Overlook outside of Flagstaff.

Peoria police said the discovery of Deborah Delaney’s remains along with information collected during the investigation reinforces the belief that William Delaney was responsible for the death and disappearance of his wife.