October 6, 2012

Routine Drunk Driving Arrest Leads to Discovery of Dead Body

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By guest-writer

A Phoenix man has been taken into custody by police after a DUI stop led officers to discover the dead body of the man’s mother inside her home, according to a report from Phoenix’s ABC 15 News.

The man, whose name had not yet been released by sources, was arrested by police late Sunday night for driving under the influence of alcohol.

During the course of the arrest, the suspect apparently made bizarre comments about the owner of the vehicle that caused the officers to become “concerned.”

The arresting officers contacted police near the home of the vehicle’s owner, which turned out to be the man’s mother, and the responding authorities discovered the dead body of 46-year-old Danette M. Baxter.

Before they reached the body, police saw blood on the front door and evidence that someone had made a forced entry into the home. In addition, police say that Baxter’s body had obvious signs of trauma, and they are treating her death as a homicide.

The man who was charged with a DUI is being held as a person of interest in the death of his mother, although he has not yet been charged with a crime in relation to the apparent homicide.

Interestingly, neighbors who were interviewed by local sources said they believed that Baxter’s son had physically abused her in the past, but they also expressed their disbelief that he was capable of committing a murder.

But the neighbors also expressed shock at nature of the crime. According to Sydney Swart, one of Baxter’s neighbors, “[j]ust the thought process of a child doing that to their mother is horrifying. It really is,” although she again did not implicate Baxter’s son in the killing.

Sources suggest that Baxter had been living in Long Beach, California before arriving in Phoenix a few months ago. Police are in Long Beach conducting further investigations into the life of the arrested man.

And other neighbors shed some light on the man’s past. One nearby resident claims to have heard he “got into some trouble in California” and that “there was something bothering him,” but he couldn’t tell exactly what is was.

Other neighbors told local reporters that the man was an “interesting character” who mostly “kept his head down.”

It’s not uncommon for routine DUI arrests to unveil evidence of other crimes, although it is rare that a DUI stop leads police to a homicide scene.
Typically, searches incident to a DUI arrest will reveal illegal drugs or unlicensed weapons, but the discovery of a dead body is truly unique.

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The acronyms DUI, DWI, OMVI and OVI all refer to the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The most commonly used terms are DUI, an acronym for Driving Under the Influence, and DWI, an acronym for Driving While Impaired.
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