Parents among 3 arrested after teen boy’s abandoned body found wrapped in blanket
KINGMAN, Ariz. (KPHO/Gray News) - Two parents were arrested along with another man on Thursday in Arizona after police said a 16-year-old boy was found dead.
According to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, the teen’s parents, Amber-Leah Valentine and Jon Imes, called deputies on Feb. 25 and told them their son had run away from home and that they had seen him the day before.
Several days later, deputies were called out to an area near Anson Smith and Indian Canyon Road in Kingman for the report of a teenage boy’s body found wrapped in a blanket behind a stone wall.
When deputies arrived at the scene, they said they didn’t know the remains belonged to the missing-16-year-old.
Officials told KPHO that the road sees a lot of traffic, so it would be strange to leave a body near it.
The sheriff’s office said they were called by Valentine last Thursday to report that she had just freed her 14-year-old daughter from captivity by her roommates 34-year-old Richard Pounds and 39-year-old Shioban Gujda.
Investigators said Valentine and her daughter were taken to a hospital where the mother confessed that she and Imes had disposed of their son’s body behind the wall. Officers said she knew he was dead when the couple reported him missing.
Imes and Valentine were later arrested on various charges which included abandonment and concealing a dead body.
When investigators spoke with the 14-year-old daughter, she reportedly told them that Pounds had shot her in the eye with a BB gun. Deputies said she reported additional abuse that had happened to her while living in the house.
“Any call that we get that involves a child of any age is extremely disturbing,” Anita Mortensen, with the Mohave Sheriff’s Office, said. “Our deputies, our detectives, they are fathers, they’re mothers. They have their own kids and going to calls like this is always extremely disturbing that someone could do something or be in the same home as something like this that is happening to their own children.”
Pounds was arrested and booked for felony child abuse and aggravated assault. Gujda was questioned and released. An autopsy was conducted on the 16-year-old’s body, with the results pending.
Copyright 2023 KPHO/KTRK via Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.