Ahwatukee human remains Gary Duffield

Gary Duffield, 59, was reported missing after the 2017 fire. He was never seen again.

AHWATUKEE (3TV/CBS 5) – Police on Friday say the human remains found in a burned-out Ahwatukee home earlier this month are that of the resident.

Gary Lee Duffield, 59, had not been seen since the home caught fire in 2017.

[WATCH: Resident vanished after 2017 fire]

Investigators did not release any information about how Duffield died.

Detectives have been investigating the case as a homicide and will continue to do so, Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department said Monday.

[PHOTOS: Human remains discovered in burned-out Ahwatukee home]

Duffield's remains were discovered inside the home in a neighborhood near 48th Street and Ray Road on April 3.

Works crews were cleaning up the house, which has sat with a gigantic hole in the roof since 2017, so it could be rebuilt for the new owner.

The workers who found the bones initially thought they belonged to an animal. It was later determined that the bones were those of an adult male.

Neighbors were perplexed by the discovery.

"It just doesn't make sense for the fire department not to go into house and clear it out when it burned down like that," neighbor Trevor Lewis the next day. "You'd think they would have found the body sooner."

It took nearly two weeks for investigators to determine that Duffield had finally been found.

It's not clear how long his body had been in the rubble of the home.

Neighbors say Duffield had lived in the house with his mother since the 1980s. People who live in the area say that his mother died before the fire.

 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

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(11) comments

Dean

"It's not clear how long his body had been in the rubble of the home." Now that is a stupid comment. His body had been in the rubble since the fire. DOH

Dean

Told you so. He has been there for 2 years and the fire department was too inept to find the body. I wonder if they even tried.

Gabrielle

No, this doesn't make any sense. How is there a new owner if the owner died? DIdn't this have to go through probate? I'm so lost.

Dean

Simple enough - it took 2 years to go through the legal system and whoever held the loan most likely took it over when the payments stopped.

Debbie

Yeah, there is more to this story.

braniac9

sad. no friends. no family. just bills. a whole lotta unpaid bills sitting in the mailbox.

Born in AZ

How did they live in the house since the 1980's? The house wasn't built until the 90's. Something fishy going on here.

treescot

Were the guys remains there the whole time?? If so, WTH???

EMAC71

NS, how small was they guy that they thought his bones were that of a dog. So there is a house fire and a missing person for the same time and no one put the two together?

sfr8

"A man so small, he lived mostly in the refrigerator," sources say.

Daddy

str8 - This where you hid coward? smh total clown.

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