KINGMAN, Arizona (ABC4) — A 16-year-old boy was found dead, wrapped in a blanket, and hidden behind a stone wall. His parents reported him a runaway, but they already allegedly knew he was deceased.
Arizona residents, Amber-Leah Valentine, 41, and Jon Imes, 41, were arrested for abandonment of a dead body and child abuse, according to a Facebook post by Mohave County Sherriff’s Office Monday.
According to the post, on Feb. 25, Valentine and Imes reported their 16-year-old son a runaway. Deputies were told the teen was last seen on Feb. 24, around 10 a.m.
A few days later, on Feb. 28, MCSO was contacted to investigate a death near Anson Smith Road in Kingman. This is when deputies reportedly found the dead 16-year-old wrapped in a blanket behind a stone wall. The identity of the teen was unknown at that point in the investigation.
On Thursday, Mar. 2, Valentine reportedly contacted MSCO and said she and her 14-year-old daughter needed medical attention. Valentine said her roommates Richard Pounds, 34, and Shioban Gujda, 39, had been holding her daughter captive. Valentine told deputies that she freed her daughter, and both were transported to Kingman Regional Medical Center to be treated for their injuries.
The 14-year-old daughter told detectives she had been shot in the eye with a BB gun by Pounds and described additional accounts of abuse that happened in the home. She is currently receiving medical treatment.
Pounds was arrested for felony child abuse and aggravated assault Thursday. Shioban Gujda was released pending further investigation.
Valentine then reportedly told deputies that she and Imes had disposed of their teen son’s body at the same location deputies found the body. Valentine admitted that she lied to deputies when they reported him as a runaway and admitted that he was already deceased at the time of the report.
When Imes was questioned, he also admitted to disposing of his son’s body and lying to deputies about him running away.
Valentine and Imes were taken into custody Thursday for felony abandonment and concealment of a dead body, and Pounds was taken into custody for felony child abuse and aggravated assault. They are all in the Mohave County Adult Detention Center awaiting further investigation and possible charges.
The Mohave County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy on the 16-year-old male on Saturday to determine the cause of death. The autopsy results are pending. This case remains under active investigation and additional charges are pending.