CASA GRANDE, AZ – Since 1997, the US Border Patrol Agents suspect that more the 2000 people, mainly illegal immigrants and transient homeless travelers, have been murdered in the Arizona Desert.
While some of the deaths can be attributed to exposure, drug cartel assassinations, and indigenous wildlife, Researchers from Arizona State University believe a larger predator may be responsible.
“Something is hunting people,” states Richard Greer, Head of Ethology at ASU’s Animal Behavioral Research program.” While Mountain Lion and Black Bear attacks have been documented in the Sonora Desert region, “We’ve seen a dramatic rise in recent years,” states Greer.
“We used to document 10-20 incidents per year,” says Amy Rema from the Arizona Missing Database, “However that number has dramatically risen to over 100-150 unexplained deaths each year since 1997.”
“Because most of the victims are ‘off the grid,’” adds Rema, “No one is paying attention.” The Arizona Missing Database acknowledges the alarming rise, however since the majority of the victims are undocumented or not registered in the state, the agency doesn’t have the resources to track the suspect. Beginning with the 1997 unsolved Lauder Case, the agency currently tracks more than 1000 long-term unresolved disappearances in the state.
Livestock and Cattle deaths have also risen in recent years, indicating that the culprit may be a larger predator. “These attacks were quick, methodical, and brutal,” states Greer. “Only a predator could take down so many victims without being detected.”
For more information, contact the Arizona Missing Database @ www.maricopamissing.com
Cover Photograph by Mike Hettwer