Suspect In Friesen Homicide Identified


The man who killed Annie Friesen, 73, of Beaver Valley, and was then killed by her husband, Ray, has been identified as Mitchel D. Bell, 46, a transient.

According to the Gila County Sheriff's Office, Bell was living along the East Verde River. The GCSO and Tonto Rim Search and Rescue located the man's camp in a canyon east of the river.

"His vehicle was found in Coconino County where the Forest Service had contact with him about June 10 for fishing without a license," said Det. George Ratliff of the GCSO.

A news release on Bell from the GCSO said no connection has been found to anyone else and he acted alone.

An autopsy last Thursday determined that Friesen died of stab wounds to the chest and Bell died of multiple gunshots to the upper torso.

The GCSO is continuing its investigation, attempting to discover how long Bell has been in the area and his activities for the last six months.

Several leads have already been received and are being followed. As more information is available, the GCSO will release it for publication.

Anyone having information about Bell is urged to contact either Ratliff or Det. Brian Havey at the Payson office of the GCSO, 474-2208.

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