Couple 'hide son's dead body behind wall and claim he ran away'
A couple allegedly disposed of their teenage son’s dead body behind a stone wall and lied that he had run away from home.
Amber-Leah Valentine, 41, and her husband Jon Imes, 41, reported their 16-year-old son as a runaway on February 25 and claimed he was last seen the prior day in the morning, according to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office.
Three days later, sheriff’s deputies were called to investigate a death around Anson Smith and Indian Canyon roads in Kingman, the same city in Arizona where the couple reside.
‘A deceased white male was located wrapped in a blanket behind a stone wall,’ stated the sheriff’s office in a Facebook post on Monday.
The victim’s identity was not immediately known and the body was sent to a medical examiner to determine the cause and manner of death.
Then last Thursday, Valentine called the sheriff’s office to report that she had freed her 14-year-old daughter. Valentine’s roommates Richard Pounds, 34, and Shioban Gujda, 39, held the teenage girl captive, her mother told deputies.
Valentine asked for treatment for herself and her daughter and they were taken to a regional medical center. Valentine proceeded to confess that she and her husband had disposed of their son where the body was located days earlier. She admitted that she lied when said he had run away, and that he was already dead when she made the report.
Imes also confessed to disposing of their son’s body and lying about him fleeing.
Valentine and Imes were both arrested and charged with felony abandonment or concealment of a dead body. They were booked into the Mohave County Adult Detention Facility.
Results from an autopsy of their son conducted on Sunday are still pending and an investigation is ongoing.
Meanwhile, detectives interviewed the couple’s teen daughter at the medical center. She said Pounds shot her in the eye with a BB gun and that she suffered other abuse in the home. The Arizona Department of Child Safety was informed and the girl is receiving treatment at another location.
A search warrant was served for the home on the 2300 block of Packard Avenue, where Valentine and Imes resided. Pounds and Gujda were taken into custody and questioned. Pound has been arrested for felony, while Gudja was released – pending further investigation.
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