NPR launches a project examining discrimination in America.
Man arrested after two bodies found buried in Phoenix backyard
A Phoenix man faces two murder charges after the discovery of human remains in a backyard. Landscapers found the bodies buried in a wooden box at a house that used to belong to Alan Champagne’s mother. The police had suspected Champagne in the murders for more than a year.
Sergeant Tommy Thompson says police received information linking Champagne to the murders in 2011, and at the time were involved in an armed stand-off with him. Back then they also searched Champagne’s former apartment, where they believe the murders had taken place. It was being renovated, but some evidence was still intact.
"My understanding is there had been quite a bit of damage to the house," Thompson said. "They had gone through, perhaps even put in new flooring, new drywall, things of that nature, but through the work of our detectives, our CSI team, we were able to gather some crucial biological evidence."
Wednesday’s discovery of the bodies will now be added to that evidence in the case against Champagne. He is currently in jail on unrelated charges. The identities of the murder victims have not been released.