Key Evidence in Arizona's Yarnell Hill Fire Tragedy Never Provided to Official Investigators

  • Source: phoenix news times
  • Published: 12/17/2015 12:00 AM

Key evidence that could explain why the Granite Mountain Hotshots moved from a safe location into a treacherous box canyon where 19 men died on June 30, 2013, was in the Office of the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's possession but was not provided to a contracted state investigation into the disaster, autopsy records obtained by New Times show. A cell phone belonging to Granite Mountain superintendent Eric Marsh and a functioning camera belonging to hotshot Christopher MacKenzie were with the men's bodies when they arrived at the Medical Examiner's Office on July 1, 2013, but were not listed as evidence turned over later to the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office. The YCSO has no record of Marsh's phone or of MacKenzie's camera as official evidence collected from the medical examiner, according to a YCSO police report. Both items ended up in the possession of family members. The Maricopa County medical examiner conducted autopsies on the bodies of all 19 hotshots for Yavapai County on July 2, 2013. The names of representatives from YCSO and the Arizona Forestry Division appear on the autopsy reports as in attendance on 10 of the 19 autopsies that were conducted by four different doctors.


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