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'Missing in Arizona' seeks answers for families of long-term cases

A growing program in Arizona is providing fresh opportunities for answers to family members of people who are missing, including the chance to meet with experts in forensics, law enforcement and search and rescue at an all-day event in Phoenix on October 21.... Read more»

Powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl makes a deadly mark in Arizona

Pima County’s Medical Examiner reported 17 fentanyl-related deaths last year, up from seven in 2014 – a deadly trend involving one of the most potent synthetic opioids in the world.... Read more»

Maricopa effort aims to resolve cases of unidentified remains

There are roughly 300 sets of remains awaiting identification in Maricopa County. In total, the state has 1,300 open cases, accounting for 13 percent of all unidentified remains in the nation — second only to California.... Read more»

Medical examiner: Eloy immigration detainee committed suicide

An immigrant who died in custody at the Eloy Detention Center last month committed suicide, according to an autopsy report released Wednesday by the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner. ... Read more»1

Colibri Center launch puts human faces to border issues

Hoping to put faces to border issues, the launch of the Colibri Center for Human Rights featured an award-winning documentary about one family's loss. The Tucson-based group hopes to establish the most comprehensive data set on missing border crossers and unidentified remains along the U.S.-Mexico border.... Read more»

Colibri Center for Human Rights debuts with Saturday screening

Home of the most comprehensive data about missing border crossers and unidentified remains along the U.S.-Mexico border, the Colibri Center for Human Rights will celebrate their opening with the local premiere of award-winning film "Who is Dayani Cristal?" on Saturday.... Read more»

Medical examiner's unique technique helps ID desert dead

Arizona's climate has contributed to high death tolls among border crossers - and the development of a nationally recognized fingerprinting process for identifying those who are found without names. Work at the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner led to breakthroughs in identifying those who die in the desert.... Read more»

After brutal summer heat, border-crosser deaths up in 2013

Following brutal summer heat, deaths of border crossers in Pima County so far this year are up from 2012, the chief medical examiner said.... Read more»

Report: Border death rate spiking, despite drop in crossings

The death rate among migrants in Southern Arizona has "increased exponentially" since the early 2000s, despite an overall decrease in illegal border crossings, a report released Wednesday said. In 2011, the rate of bodies found in the desert was double that in 2009, compared to the number of border crossers caught.... Read more»3

Pima County, Humane Borders mapping migrant deaths

Each year, hundreds of people go missing in the Sonoran Desert and many are never identified. Since 2001, of the nearly 2,100 remains found in the desert, about 700 remain unidentified. A new search tool available to the public will combine data sets to help name the dead. ... Read more»4

ME: Dever intoxicated, not wearing seatbelt during fatal rollover

Cochise County Sheriff Dever had a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit and wasn't wearing a seatbelt when he rolled over the pickup he was driving on a Northern Arizona dirt road Sept. 18, a medical examiner said Friday.... Read more»

Casey Anthony trial shows limits of forensic science in child deaths

Tuesday, a jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, bringing to a stunning end a trial that had fixated the nation for weeks. The verdict shocked a bevy of TV legal analysts as well as the millions of viewers who had slavishly followed the case's lurid twists and turns.... Read more»

Judge denies motion to bar release of Jan. 8 autopsies

A motion by prosecutors to bar the release of autopsy reports on the victims of the Jan. 8 mass shooting has been denied by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns. The ruling does not mean the autopsies will necessarily be released, the judge wrote.... Read more»

Prosecutors seek gag order on Jan. 8 autopsies

Federal prosecutors have asked that the autopsies of the victims of the Jan. 8 mass shooting not be released, and that the medical examiner not speak to the media.... Read more»

Pima County, Mexican officials to share DNA data on border remains

In 2004, DNA analysis first helped forensic anthropologist Dr. Bruce Anderson give a family answers about one young woman who disappeared while crossing illegally into Arizona. Pima County officials hope an agreement with Mexican officials to share databases of DNA information will help close even more of the 640 cases involving unidentified remains.... Read more»

Border Roundup: First court hearing on SB 1070; migrant deaths rise

The first court hearing on SB 1070 was held Thursday. The arguments presented will be supplemented by those to be heard on July 22. As the lawsuits begin, the effects of the new law are felt on the ground in Arizona. ... Read more»2