An unexpected and bizarre confession from a prisoner in another state has led to the discovery of a murder victim in Phoenix.
According to police, the killing happened in December of 2014, but the victim, identified as a 54-year-old Darren Van Eaton of Phoenix, was never reported missing. On top of it all, during all this time, a Phoenix woman was allegedly cashing in on the victim's death.
According to police, a prisoner in the State of Washington, identified as 23-year-old Craig Strong, told investigators in that state what happened, which led Phoenix detectives to where Van Eaton's remains were buried, in the area of 43rd Avenue and Thomas.
Police said the victim knew his alleged killer, who is currently serving time for possession of a stolen firearm.
Strong reportedly also implicated another man in the murder. That man was identified as George Reed, who is currently in jail in Phoenix, on drug charges.
For as long as Van Eaton's partial remains were buried, someone living across the street was allegedly cashing in, to the tune of $1,500 a month.
"His Social Security account was being used," said Sgt. Mercedes Fortune with the Phoenix Police Department. "Detectives then learned that the person using those funds was related to another person in custody here in Phoenix on an unrelated crime. He was also identified as a person involved in this homicide."
According to police, Teniqua Reed was arrested for alleged fraud and theft, and police said she spent nearly $45,000 in Van Eaton's Social Security.
The motive behind the killing remains unknown. Also unknown is why no one reported that Van Eaton was missing. Records show he was arrested in Oregon of assault charges, several months before his death.
As for Strong, he will be released from prison in Washington later this year, and will face murder charges in Phoenix.