Jun 2, 2012 7:21 PM
PINAL COUNTY - A murder investigation is underway in Pinal County.
Around 4:30 a.m. Saturday, a border patrol agent saw a Ford Expedition pulled over on Interstate 8 near Vekol Valley. When the agent approached the SUV, the driver took off.
At 7:30 a.m., the border patrol agent spotted tracks near the interstate. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu says the vehicle went airborne off the highway.
Agents followed the tire tracks and found the smoldering SUV. Inside, agents discovered one body in the back passenger seat and four others lying in the cargo area. They were burned beyond recognition. The driver's seat and front passenger seat were empty.
Babeu calls the latest incident significant. He says he's concerned about the extent of the violence in the western part of the county, saying drug smuggling north of the U.S.-Mexico border has not subsided.