On Wednesday, July 22, 2020, at approximately 9:19 PM, the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s (AZDPS) Operational Communication Center received a call of an unknown emergency regarding an injured person on the side of the road on westbound US 60 at milepost 116.
When AZDPS troopers arrived on scene, they found two female juveniles with significant injuries. The first juvenile, a 13-year-old female, was later pronounced deceased by on-scene fire personnel. The second juvenile, a 12-year-old female, was flown to a Phoenix-area hospital where she remains in extremely critical condition.
During the course of the investigation, troopers learned of an earlier kidnapping in Phoenix involving the two victims. Additionally, troopers were notified of a possible suspect who was seen with bloody clothing a few miles away at a gas station in Wickenburg. Troopers responded to the gas station and with assistance from the Wickenburg Police Department, located the suspect and placed him into custody. After initially providing troopers with false information regarding his identity, troopers were able to identify the suspect as the victims’ uncle, Carlos Eduardo Mora, 27, of Phoenix.
As troopers continued their investigation, they learned that earlier in the evening, Mora, along with another adult male, and the two victims were at a family residence in Phoenix when they decided to drive to a local convenience store. When the other adult male went back inside the home, Mora jumped into the driver’s seat and fled in the vehicle with the two victims still in the backseat. When the other adult male tried to stop Mora from leaving, Mora struck him with the vehicle. Family members were able to contact the two victims and heard screaming before the phone was disconnected.
The Phoenix Police Department responded to the residence and began their investigation into the kidnapping.
This remains an active investigation in conjunction with the Phoenix Police Department. Updates will be provided as they become available.
Mora was later booked into the Maricopa County Jail on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping and theft of means of transportation.