Suspect arrested after Phoenix man kidnapped and dismembered

September 22, 2022 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — A suspect has been arrested in connection with a homicide case in which a Phoenix man was allegedly kidnapped, killed and dismembered in Tucson, authorities said Thursday.

Phoenix police said 45-year-old John Cole has been booked into jail on suspicion of first-degree murder, kidnapping, theft by extortion, concealment of a body and other felony charges.

It was unclear Thursday if Cole has a lawyer yet who can speak on his behalf.

Police said officers received a missing person call Monday involving 28-year-old Antoine Smith, who allegedly was kidnapped from his Phoenix apartment a few days earlier over an unpaid cash debt.

Detectives were able to identify and locate Cole’s vehicle on its way to California and Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers helped stop and arrest the suspect.

A search warrant was obtained and human remains were located inside Cole’s vehicle, police said.

Court documents show Cole was interviewed by detectives and he allegedly told them he killed Smith in self-defense and then dismembered the victim at his Tucson home.

Police said Cole later led detectives to a rural area south of Tucson where more of Smith’s remains were recovered.