Apr 08, 2024

Suspect indicted in death of Nebraska man who was killed and dismembered in Arizona national forest

Posted Apr 08, 2024 5:00 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — A suspect has been indicted in the death of an 18-year-old Nebraska man who was stabbed, dismembered and burned beyond recognition in a remote area of an Arizona national forest last year, according to authorities.

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell announced Friday that 38-year-old Anthonie Ruinard Jr. has been charged with felony counts of second-degree murder and abandonment or concealment of a dead body.

Ruinard, from Chandler, originally was arrested in the case last July and charged with first-degree murder and other counts.

“Experienced homicide prosecutors in my office combed through nearly 4,000 pages of material submitted in this homicide case,” Mitchell said in a statement. “After five months of careful review, we were able to secure this indictment.”

A message sent to Ruinard’s public defender seeking comment on the case wasn’t immediately returned Sunday.

Authorities said the body of Parker League was found in June at the bottom of a bonfire in the Tonto National Forest just northeast of the Phoenix metro area, and dental records identified the victim.

League's family said he had just graduated from high school in Gretna, Nebraska, and took a June 9 flight to Arizona to visit friends for a few days.

Authorities said surveillance footage showed League and Ruinard leaving a gas station together on June 11. That was the last time League was seen on video alive.

League's body was found the following day and authorities said his blood was later discovered in the trunk and on the rear bumper of a vehicle seized from Ruinard’s property.

Sheriff’s investigators used surveillance video from multiple locations where League’s credit and debit cards were used to identify Ruinard as a suspect.

Ruinard, a former Tucson restaurant owner, told investigators that League sold him debit cards for $500 and he threw them away after using them, according to court documents.