PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. (AP) - Two people were tied up and killed, and their bodies burned beyond recognition in a posh Phoenix suburb, shaking residents who were being told to lock their doors and pay attention to their surroundings and a police department that last investigated a homicide in 2004.
Police in Paradise Valley, most known for its scenic mountain trails and upscale resorts, said Wednesday that investigators were not able to positively identify the bodies because they were so badly burned. An autopsy was under way Wednesday to determine the identities and whether the people were killed in the fire or by other means.
"This particular crime is a heinous crime and it can happen anywhere," said Police Chief John Bennett. "People in Paradise Valley hopefully understand it can happen even to them."
He said investigators had no suspects and had not determined a motive, including whether the stylish stucco home had been robbed.
Paradise Valley officers went to the home Monday morning after Phoenix police found a car on fire behind a strip mall about 20 miles away. The car was registered to the home's owners.
When an officer arrived at the house, she saw smoke coming from inside. Firefighters put out fires that had been set in two bedrooms, including the master bedroom, where the bodies were found.
The home is owned by Lawrence and Glenna Shapiro, a couple in their 70s that started their own charitable organization in 2010 and have actively supported many local civic organizations and charities.
Bennett said the Shapiros could be the victims but police needed the autopsy results to be sure.