Local inmate tells police where to find body of missing Bellingham man in Phoenix

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Police say an inmate at a jail in Bellingham has led officers to a body buried in a vacant lot behind an Arizona drugstore.

The Bellingham Herald reported Thursday (https://goo.gl/eBP3OX ) that 22-year-old Craig Strong spoke with police months ago on the day he was arraigned on local charges of possessing stolen guns and violating a no-contact order.

Police say Strong told them where they would find the body of former Bellingham resident 54-year-old Darren Van Eaton, and human remains were excavated near a CVS Pharmacy in Phoenix.

Detectives believe Van Eaton was killed and buried there in December 2014. Police say Strong admitted to “being present” for the crime.

Phoenix police say a 24-year-old woman was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of stealing Van Eaton’s $1,500-a-month Social Security bank deposits.

Authorities are still investigating.