ST. GEORGE — The body of a missing Santa Clara man – who was allegedly assaulted and kidnapped from his Santa Clara home June 27 – has been found, authorities confirmed late Thursday night.
Based on matching clothing and other unspecified identifying elements, authorities said they are confident the body found Thursday by a Bureau of Land Management geologist is that of 30-year-old David Heisler.
“Our preliminary findings of the body that was located out on the Arizona Strip, we believe through photographs and seeing the body that it’s the body of David Heisler,” Santa Clara Ivins Police Capt. Rich Rodgers said.
The BLM geologist discovered the body between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. as he was driving to look at a rock formation on the Arizona Strip in the region of Mt. Trumbull, Rodgers said. Just after 5 p.m., BLM officials notified the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office about the discovery of the body.
Officials from the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, Santa Clara Ivins Police Department, Washington County Attorney’s Office and BLM responded to the scene.
The body was transported to the Mohave County Medical Examiner’s Office in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, early Friday morning. An autopsy is scheduled to confirm the identity of the body and determine the cause of death.
The badly decomposed body was discovered approximately 4 miles from the location Heisler was reportedly left alive by one of his alleged abductors.
Heisler’s former girlfriend Kelley Marie Perry, 31, who is the mother of Heisler’s 6-year-old child, and Francis Lee McCard, 55, were arrested July 5 on charges including assault and kidnapping of Heisler. They are the last known people to see Heisler alive, according to the Santa Clara-Ivins Police Department.
McCard appeared before Judge Eric Ludlow in 5th District Court last week for a preliminary hearing on charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary and vehicle theft.
During that hearing, Santa Clara-Ivins Police Sgt. Jaron Studley testified that during the investigation McCard admitted to going to Heisler’s home the morning of June 27 with co-defendants Perry and Tammy Renee Freeman, 54, who was arrested July 9 for her alleged involvement in the crime. Studley testified that McCard said his intent was to go to Heisler’s home to “scare” Heisler.
Police testified that McCard and Perry both admitted to tying up Heisler, assaulting him in his home, placing a pillowcase over his head and forcing him into the backseat of his car.
Studley said McCard told investigators he drove Heisler to a remote area on the Arizona Strip and had left Heisler alive standing next to a tree about 4.1 miles up BLM Road 105 – approximately 40 miles away from home.
Authorities searched the area, locating zip ties, a pair of sunglasses and a pillowcase, among other items. However, authorities found no sign of Heisler.
In the hours after the kidnapping, McCard, Perry and Freeman allegedly gambled in Mesquite with money stolen from Heisler’s home. Based on surveillance footage, Perry and Freeman also allegedly helped McCard disguise his appearance by shaving his head in a bathroom at the Virgin River Casino after ditching Heisler’s car in Beaver Dam, Arizona.
At the time of his disappearance, Heisler had just been awarded sole custody of his daughter, June 13, after years of related legal proceedings. Perry had taken to social media to express her outrage and discontent with the custody situation.
This is a developing story.
Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.
Email: [email protected]
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.