A truck belonging to a missing Heber man was found parked along the south side of Wal-Mart Tuesday. Ample amounts of blood in the truck bed may indicate foul play, Payson Police Sgt. Rod Mamero said.
Rex Lester McCarty, 80, was last heard from by family members on Saturday, Jan. 3. After failing to show up for a medical appointment Jan. 6, McCarty's daughter called the Navajo County Sheriff's Office and an investigation began.
A press release from Navajo County said McCarty is considered missing, along with his beige 1999 Ford pickup and a .44 caliber handgun.
Navajo County officials said, even prior to the discovery of the truck, that "foul play is suspected."
Tuesday, a Wal-Mart employee reported the abandoned truck to police. Officer Henry Thomason ran the vehicle identification number because the plates had been removed. The vehicle was McCarty's.
Thomason and fellow officers observed several blood stains in the bed of the truck. The area was cordoned off as a crime scene and Payson police notified Navajo County.
A crime scene technician from the Arizona Department of Public Safety's state crime lab processed the scene.
"The people from DPS crime lab have the tools, equipment and the expertise we don't have," Payson Police Chief Gordon Gartner said. "We use them for some of the more serious cases."
After processing the truck, the vehicle was towed back up to Heber as evidence.
Later that night, Payson Police Officer Joni Varga went back to the scene and found a pile of items not far from where the truck had been. An atlas was found with McCarty's name on the inside cover, along with a pair of shoes.
Navajo County deputies refused to comment on the details of the investigation, but say McCarty's body has not yet been found.
McCarty is described as 6-feet-tall, 240 pounds and has grey hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Sgt. Heidi Person at (928) 535-4611.