11:24 AM PST, January 4, 2022
The body of an Arizona man who was reported missing on New Year’s Eve, the same day his friends found his car burned to its shell, has been found, authorities said.
The body of Benjamin Anderson, 41, was found in the desert near Table Mesa Road on New Year’s Eve, the same day he was reported missing, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.
Anderson, who lived in Phoenix, was reported missing Friday after friends had not heard from him and found his apartment in disarray, The Arizona Republic reported.
Anderson’s car was found after it had been set on fire outside a hotel Friday for reasons that are still under investigation, News 12 reported.
The discovery of the car came after those same friends of Anderson spotted unknown individuals in his car and attempted to follow it, only to decide to stop chasing it because the situation had become dangerous, they told The Arizona Republic.
“His Louis Vuitton bag was in the trunk. He had purchased some vanity lamps that were left burned, but he was nowhere to be seen,” Daniel Stahoviak told The Arizona Republic.
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Calbert Gillett confirmed Monday that it was Anderson’s body that was found the same day he went missing, and that a homicide investigation is underway, Fox 10 reported.
“On Friday, December 31st, 2021, MCSO responded to the location of Table Mesa Road, west of I-17, for a body found in the desert. The MCSO Homicide Unit assumed the investigation, and today the identity of the decedent was identified as 41-year-old Benjamin Anderson,” Gillett said in a press release obtained by Fox 10.
Anyone with information about Anderson’s death is asked to call the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office at 602-876-TIPS or 602-876-1011.