Woman, 78, missing from Goodyear home; grandson is person of interest


by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Kristine Harrington

Posted on October 31, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 10 at 12:15 PM

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A 78-year-old Goodyear woman is missing under suspicious circumstances and her grandson is considered a person of interest in the case, according to police.

Goodyear police officers responded to Helen Jean Lee's home near McDowell and Litchfield roads Wednesday afternoon.

Lee's daughter lives in Tucson and reported her mother missing after she was unable to make contact with her for several hours.

Detectives went inside Lee's home and found evidence that indicates possible foul play, according to police spokeswoman Lisa Kutis.

Video from Chopper 3 showed a damaged garage door.

Kutis said Jason Howell, 40, is considered a person of interest in this case.

Howell lives in Lee's home. He was arrested in Chandler Wednesday night after police said he stole an SUV outside an elementary school near Ray Road and McClintock Drive. A 12-year-old girl was in the back seat and managed to jump out of the vehicle.

Lee's vehicle was found abandoned in the neighborhood of the school.

Goodyear detectives are in the area of Gila Bend following up on an unidentified body recovered in the desert Thursday afternoon.

The investigation is ongoing.