Man arrested in connection with burned body found in desert near Tonopah

Posted: Updated:
Donald Wade Purcell By Jennifer Thomas Donald Wade Purcell By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX – A suspect in the shooting death of a man whose body was found near Tonopah in December was located Tuesday in California.

Donald Wade Purcell, 24, was arrested on Jan. 1 for seven counts of misconduct involving weapons. He appeared in court the next day and was released on bail, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

A day later, the sheriff's crime lab confirmed that a weapon found in Purcell's Phoenix home was linked to the murder of Abel Dominic Martinez, 24, of Phoenix, according to MCSO spokesman Lt. Brandon Jones.

Martinez's burned body was found in the desert area near 355th Avenue and milepost 16. An autopsy determined Martinez died from multiple gunshots.

Jones said deputies returned to Purcell's home to arrest him for first-degree murder, but he had fled to Canada on a Greyhound bus.

Detectives determined the bus route and asked Bakersfield, Calif., police to stop the bus. Purcell was taken into custody and then extradited to Phoenix by MCSO deputies.

Purcell was indicted for first-degree murder, kidnapping and weapons-related charges. He is incarcerated in Lower Buckeye Jail.