An Arizona man has been arrested after police found a significantly burned body believed to be a 21-year-old mother who was reported missing this week.
Police said the body, tentatively identified as Jasmine Dunbar, was found on Wednesday afternoon in a field near 107th Avenue and Camelback Road in Phoenix.
The young mother was reported missing on Tuesday evening, March 6, after her 7-month-old daughter was found abandoned in a car seat that had been left on the side of the road, reported azcentral.com citing court records. Along with the baby, police found an adult shoe, diaper bag, backpack and wallet containing Dunbar’s ID.
Dunbar was last seen with her ex-boyfriend Antwaun Travon Ware, 20, on Tuesday night. Family members told ABC15 the 21-year-old was going out with Ware and her 7-month old baby at around 7:30 p.m. so that Ware could take a paternity test.
According to court records, officers went to Ware’s home at around 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday after Dunbar was reported missing. Initially, he told police he had picked up the mother and daughter on Tuesday evening but dropped her back off at the apartment after they had a disagreement.
However, Ware changed his story and told police that he had a physical altercation with Dunbar where he punched her multiple times and left her in a field near 107th Avenue and Camelback Road. He claims Dunbar was still alive at that time, reported 12news.
Ware then drove away with the 7-month-old still in the car but panicked and dropped the baby in another area so that someone would find the infant and take care of her, court documents read.
Police allege that Ware returned to the field where he left Dunbar and found her dead. He then placed a piece of paper on her body, poured gasoline over her and lit her on fire with a cigarette. Ware then stayed to watch the body burn until the flames stopped, reported the news station, citing court documents.
Police believe Ware then returned to the location where he abandoned the baby but noticed that police were already with the baby. He then fled in another direction in order to avoid the police.
The 20-year-old was booked into Maricopa County jail on Thursday, March 8, on suspicion of first-degree murder and several other charges including abandoning a body and child abuse.