Former Seattle resident arrested after body parts found scattered in Arizona
A former Seattle resident is accused of dumping human body parts in remote Arizona.
According to the Yavapai Sheriff’s Office, 59-year-old Walter Mitchell moved to Scottsdale earlier this year. He ran a company called Future Gen X, which managed cadavers for medical research.
On Dec. 26, 2020, around 20 human limbs were discovered near Prescott, Ariz. The next day, a hunter found two human heads.
“Deputies arrived and confirmed what he had seen, and a follow-up search revealed three more human heads,” a representative from the Yavapai Sheriff’s Office told KIRO Radio.
Investigators were able to link the body parts found at both sites back to Mitchell. KIRO Radio’s sister station KTAR reports that Mitchell now faces 28 counts of moving human remains with the intent to conceal or abandon them.
Police in Seattle helped Arizona detectives determine that Mitchell left Washington with the remains of five decedents. According to KTAR, Sheriff Scott Mascher said he made the case a priority because it might have involved a serial killer.
“This situation is unimaginable, and I am so sorry for the families whose loved ones were donated to research and treated in such a horrific fashion,” Sheriff Mascher, who retires Friday, said in a statement.
Mitchell was arrested in Scottsdale on the outskirts of Phoenix and booked into jail in Yavapai County. Bond has been set at $250,000 after Mitchell’s initial appearance Wednesday in the Prescott Justice Court. He appeared via video from the Yavapai County jail a day after he was arrested.
A judge appointed a public defender for Mitchell. The Associated Press also reports that the Yavapai County Public Defender’s Office declined to say whether anyone there is representing Mitchell, citing office policy.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.