CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – A man and his mother have been arrested after human remains were found burning inside a barrel in Casa Grande, Arizona, on Monday, police say.
In a news release, the Casa Grande Police Department said that on Monday just before 2 a.m., the Casa Grande Fire Department responded to a fire at a house at 200 North Brown Avenue. When crews arrived, they saw a person flee from the house. Firefighters called for the person to stop and come back but they continued to leave the area.
The fire was eventually extinguished in a burning 55-gallon metal barrel. Police say fire crews saw what they believed to be parts of a human body inside the barrel. Fire crews contacted the police.
About 30 minutes later, police say that Christopher Lawrence Chase, 32, called 911 and reportedly admitted to burning the body in the barrel, according to KTVK. He told 911 that he was at a house by 2nd Street and Morrison Avenue located a few blocks from the house with the burning barrel.
When police arrived at the second house, Christopher Lawrence Chase was holding three people inside the home at gunpoint, according to The Arizona Republic. He tried to take their car and use it as a getaway vehicle but turned himself in instead. No one was injured inside the house.
Officials learned that Christopher Lawrence Chase and his father, Thomas Chase, 57, had an argument on Saturday at Thomas Chase’s house in the 1700 block of North Terrace Circle. Police said this argument led to Christopher Chase allegedly shooting his father to death and dismembering his body.
Investigators later learned that his mother, Melissa Lynne Chase, 56, had assisted him in the concealment and cleanup of evidence, according to police.
Christopher Chase has been charged with murder, abandonment/concealment of a dead body, kidnapping, aggravated assault, burglary, and tampering with evidence, according to KTVK. Melissa Chase has been charged with abandonment/concealment of a dead body and tampering with evidence.
Police said the medical examiner’s office will determine the exact cause of death for Thomas Chase.