Daylan Jacob Thornton person of interest in the death of Steven Mark Brashear after mountain lions are found feasting on the missing man’s body parts last week.
Dylan Jacob Thornton, 21, of Tucson became a person of interest following his arrest on Friday for another crime, the theft of a vehicle, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.
Eyebrows were raised when the stolen vehicle was linked belonging to missing Oro Valley, Oklahoma man, Steven Mark Brashear, 66, who reportedly vanished last month, the sheriff’s department said.
Authorities now believe the bones mountain lions were devouring may be that of the missing man, pending the return of DNA tests, AZ Central reports.
Did Tucson auto theft suspect murder missing Oro Valley, OK man, Steven Brashear?
The link follows the discovery of human remains last Tuesday in Pima Canyon in the Coronado National Forest outside Tucson. Three mountain lions were found feeding on the remains. At the time of the discovery, officials released a statement saying that they didn’t believe the animals killed the person whose body parts the wild animals had feasted on.
Of note, authorities at the time of last week’s discovery had yet to positively identity the body parts the predators were found eating.
Arizona Game and Fish Department officers killed the mountain lions after they were determined to be a danger to the public because they showed no fear of officers trying to remove the remains.
‘Lions eating human remains is not normal … they typically prefer live prey,’ the department said in a release. ‘Research shows that if they eat human remains they are more likely to attack humans in the future.’
The sheriff’s office said Thornton was a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of the remains, which have not yet been positively identified. Not immediately clear is how the missing man met his death and whether the suspect was involved in the victim’s demise.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Thornton had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
The Pima County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who has information on this case to call 911, or call 88-CRIME to stay anonymous.