COCHISE COUNTY — Cochise County investigators on Tuesday were still combing through the property of a 56-year-old Sunizona man who has been charged with killing the mother of his child and her companion.
Also Tuesday morning, suspect Gregory Carlson was denied bond when he made his first appearance in Cochise County Superior Court on two counts of second degree murder.
The Cochise County Sheriff’s Office said Carlson killed 30-year-old Duong Nguyen and her friend, Robert Atwell. The pair was heading to Carlson’s residence in Sunizona to pick up the child Duong and Carlson have in common. The two shared custody of the youngster, Sheriff’s officials said.
A relative of Nguyen’s contacted law enforcement on Sept. 4 after not hearing from either her or Atwell. The two left Philadelphia to travel to Sunizona and the last time the relative had spoken to Nguyen was Sept. 2, said Sheriff’s spokeswoman Carol Capas.
Sheriff’s deputies were sent to Carlson’s residence on Sept. 4 and found him with his child, Capas said. Carlson claimed that Nguyen was supposed to pick up the child, but she never showed up.
The investigation continued, and as a result, deputies returned to Carlson’s house and took him into custody for questioning, Capas said.
The murder charges were filed after investigators obtained search warrants for Carlson’s property and found evidence on his land. Carlson was charged with three counts of obstructing justice and two counts of concealment of a dead body.
A cousin of Nguyen’s posted an appeal on Facebook last week asking for help regarding Nguyen’s and Atwell’s whereabouts. She said Nguyen had flown from Philadelphia to Phoenix and would then travel to pick up her daughter. The cousin stated she and other family members had called the airline and were told that Nguyen was not on the return flight to Philadelphia.
A relative of Atwell’s, meanwhile, who asked not to be identified, told the Herald/Review on Tuesday that Atwell was a kind individual who would give money to hungry strangers on the street. He said Atwell was a close friend of Nguyen’s mother.
“The entire family is grieving right now,” the relative said.
This is a developing story. The Herald/Review will provide more information as soon as it’s available.