Authorities arrest man found storing a human head in a bucket

Posted: Updated:
Matthew D. Hall, 52. 22 Jan 2018 (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Matthew D. Hall, 52. 22 Jan 2018 (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Matthew D. Hall, 52. 22 Jan 2018 (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Matthew D. Hall, 52. 22 Jan 2018 (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Harquahala Foothills. 22 Jan. 2018 (Source: Bureau of Land Management) Harquahala Foothills. 22 Jan. 2018 (Source: Bureau of Land Management)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A man has been arrested after authorities found human remains at his desert campsite west of Phoenix. 

According to court paperwork, a friend of a South Dakota man, 73-year-old Daniel Lucas, was unable to find him after locating Lucas's vehicle in a campground west of Phoenix. Lucas had been listed as a missing person after he was unable to be located over the past few months.

Earlier this month, sheriff deputies looked into the situation and found Lucas's pickup camper in a desert area campground off of Eagle Eye road, near Aguila. Inside deputies found human remains that were later identified as Lucas. The body, severely decomposed, had been there for some time.

Court paperwork describes how investigators questioned a man who was camping at a nearby campsite. Matthew David Hall, 52, told them he found Lucas in the desert nearby after he shot himself. He also told them he had part of Lucas's body at his campsite nearby.

They checked out Hall's claims and found, stored in a bucket at his campsite, a human head. 

Questioning Hall further, authorities say his story changed a bit. Hall now claimed that, about six months ago, he used a rock to break into the camper where he found Lucas dead with a handgun in his hands. 

According to court paperwork, he said he took the gun from Lucas's hands, and a rifle he found in the camper. He told investigators he took Lucas's head, put it in a bucket, and stored it at his campsite nearby.

Sheriff's officials say the medical examiner has confirmed that Lucas died by his own hand. 

Hall was arrested for breaking into the camper and removing his body and not reporting it to law enforcement. Hall will be charged with burglary and abandonment/concealment of dead body parts, said Maricopa County Sheriff's Office spokesman, Sgt. Calbert Gillett.

Gillett said the incident is still being investigated.

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