By John Hernandez
On Saturday July 6, it was reported to the Mammoth Police Department that a body had been found in a wash off of Old Tiger Mine Rd. The body was later identified as Roberto “Robert” Medina. Medina was reported missing on July 1 by a family member. He was last seen on the morning hours of June 29 headed toward the desert area west of Ruiz Park in Mammoth. It was alleged that he was leaving from a scene where police had been called. It was also reported that Medina had been drinking and was possibly on meth.
An investigation and search was initiated by the Mammoth Police Department with assistance from the Pinal County Sheriff’s office. Officers interviewed family and friends of Medina in an attempt to locate him. On July 3, the Pinal County Sheriff’s office Search and Rescue was notified and were asked to assist in the desert search for Medina. Deputy McGuinness said he would assist with the search and help with a follow-up on a person of interest who lived in San Manuel. McGuiness later advised the Mammoth Police that they had been unable to locate Medina in the desert area west of Mammoth. It was also noted on a Mammoth Police Department report that on July 4 the Pinal County Search and Rescue had advised a Mammoth police officer and the family that the case did not warrant a full search by Search and Rescue.
On July 6 two people that had been exploring the area looking for Indian pottery, gold and caves came across the body in the wash laying face up. They walked back to their vehicle and called 911. When officers arrived they found Medina laying face up wearing only a pair of shorts. He was lying approximately 15 feet away from the nearest tree. His personal belongings including his wallet, shoes, socks, shirt and hat were on the ground spread out under the tree. It appeared that Medina had been dead for some time as the body showed signs of decomposition. Police reports indicated that there were no signs of trauma on the body nor did it appear that any criminal activity was involved. The Mammoth Police Department is waiting for the autopsy report to determine cause of death. Robert Medina was 34 years old.