A body was found burning in a downtown Phoenix dumpster in an area with a large homeless encampment known as “The Zone.”
Police said the unidentified body, only described as a man, was found around 8 a.m. Tuesday and is being investigated as a homicide.
“The victim was not able to be identified due to the burn injuries covering his body,” police told FOX 10 Phoenix.
The discovery was made near 11th Avenue and Madison Street. “The Zone” spans roughly from Jefferson to Jackson streets and from 9th to 15th avenues in downtown Phoenix, just blocks away from the Arizona State Capitol, according to KPNX-TV. It is a short distance from a Phoenix police station as well as state and federal courthouses.
“This stuff is starting to be insane. It’s happening more and more,” said David Hibbard, who works at nearby Audio Visions.
Hibbard said he saw police taping off the intersection next to his workplace as he was on his way in. Police also obtained security footage from his workplace.
“They took our hard drive. We have cameras watching this place like crazy, so we got two camera systems, and they took [them] to clearly see what’s going on,” said Hibbard. “What I think I saw was two guys with something in a shopping basket went up to that trash can right there, and they tossed him in. We didn’t see him light him on fire, but I didn’t watch all the video.”
In November, a fetus was found burned in the middle of the street in “The Zone.”
“This is ridiculous. All these business owners, we can’t operate a business if you have to go through this,” Hibbard said.
“As years have passed with little to no solutions, a group of Phoenix residents and business owners filed a lawsuit last August in an effort to force the city to take action on curbing the encampment that they say is ruining their neighborhood,” KTAR-FM reports.
“They haven’t helped us, and that’s why we’re suing the city. We’re not asking for any monetary assistance, we just want our neighborhood back. We want to be like everybody else, we want to run a business without people peeing and pooping,” Joe Faillace told the radio station.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.