A couple allegedly buried their dead adolescent son behind a stone wall and made up the story that he had escaped from the house.
According to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, Amber-Leah Valentine, 41, and her husband Jon Imes, 41, stated their 16-year-old son was last seen the day before in the morning when they reported him as a runaway on February 25.
In Kingman, Arizona, the same city where the couple lives, sheriff’s deputies were summoned three days later to look into a death near Anson Smith and Indian Canyon roads.
The sheriff’s office said: ‘A deceased white male was located wrapped in a blanket behind a stone wall.’
The victim’s identity was not immediately known and the body was sent to a medical examiner to determine the cause and manner of death.
Then last Thursday, Valentine called the sheriff’s office to report that she had freed her 14-year-old daughter. Valentine’s roommates Richard Pounds, 34, and Shioban Gujda, 39, held the teenage girl captive, her mother told deputies.
Valentine asked for treatment for herself and her daughter and they were taken to a regional medical center. Valentine proceeded to confess that she and her husband had disposed of their son where the body was located days earlier. She admitted that she lied when said he had run away, and that he was already dead when she made the report.
Imes also confessed to disposing of their son’s body and lying about him fleeing.
Valentine and Imes were both arrested and charged with felony abandonment or concealment of a dead body. They were booked into the Mohave County Adult Detention Facility.
Results from an autopsy of their son conducted on Sunday are still pending and an investigation is ongoing.
Meanwhile, detectives interviewed the couple’s teen daughter at the medical center. She said Pounds shot her in the eye with a BB gun and that she suffered other abuse in the home. The Arizona Department of Child Safety was informed and the girl is receiving treatment at another location.
A search warrant was served for the home on the 2300 block of Packard Avenue, where Valentine and Imes resided. Pounds and Gujda were taken into custody and questioned. Pound has been arrested for felony, while Gudja was released – pending further investigation.