Posted: Jun 2, 2012 9:49 PM
Updated: Jun 2, 2012 10:34 PM
PINAL COUNTY - Border Patrol agents found a burned vehicle with five bodies in it west of Casa Grande.
Pinal County deputies are treating it as a homicide investigation.
Border Patrol saw a white Ford Expedition pulled over in Interstate 8 near Vekol Valley around 4:30 a.m. Saturday.
"The reason why some vehicles would stop is to pick up a drug load," Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said, "and then they're on I-8, and they're on I-10, and they're in metro Phoenix."
The SUV fled before agents could investigate.
When the sun came up, an agent saw tire tracks going into the desert. They were not continuous from the freeway, so the vehicle must have gone airborne, according to Babeu.
Agents followed the tracks about 2 miles north into the desert. They found the truck smoldering and put the remainder of the fire out with extinguishers.
There were five bodies inside. None of them were in the front seats. A body was in the back passenger seat and four were laid in the cargo area, according to Babeu.
"Because of the area, it's heavy in drug and human smuggling," Babeu said, "we believe that it was connected."
The medical examiner will perform autopsies to determine the causes of death.
Check out the latest events FC Tucson has scheduled.
Click here to submit a news tip to us!
Become a Facebook Fan!
Sign up on KVOA.com for newsletters, exclusive deals, and more!
Win! Win! Win!
Get news, weather and more on your smartphone and tablet!
Get texts for news, traffic, deals and more!
Stories and videos with Kristi's Kids
What's happening on News 4 @ 4
Let us help grow your business
What's on KVOA and when!
Contact info for our department heads
FCC Public File of Records, Reports, and More
KVOA's on air personalities!
Work at News 4 Tucson
Complete feeds of all KVOA.com stories