3 Arrested; Body Unidentified

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Three Payson men have been arrested in connection with the death of a man whose body was found in the trunk of a burning car Feb. 20.

Payson police and Gila County sheriff's officers made the arrests Tuesday afternoon.

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Thomas Georgatos

The body has been identified as a male, possibly a Payson resident, but authorities are not releasing the name.

On Feb. 20, the sheriff's office was notified of a brush fire on Cracker Jack Mine Road that turned out to be a car on fire. After Payson firefighters extinguished the fire, the body was discovered in the trunk.

The arrests came after police received information on the homicide early Tuesday morning, Payson Police Commander Don Engler said.

One of the men arrested, Thomas Paul Georgatos, 35, has been charged

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Scott McGeough

with one count of first-degree murder, one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, one count of arson of an occupied structure, one count of abandonment or concealment of a dead body and one count of destruction of evidence.

A second man, Scott Bernard McGeough, 34, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, one count of arson of an occupied structure, one count of hindering prosecution in the first degree, one count of abandonment or concealment of a dead body and one count of destruction of evidence.

The third man, William Merrill Sweatt, 21, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, one count of arson in an occupied structure, one count of hindering prosecution in the first degree, one count of abandonment or concealment of a dead body and one count of destruction of evidence.

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William Sweatt

Engler said Georgatos, who was arrested at his residence on Easy Street, was the last person to be apprehended on Tuesday.

Police were still searching Georgatos' residence on Wednesday.

Sweatt was not booked on Tuesday because he had been admitted to the hospital, though Engler would not say if his hospital stay had anything to do with the case.

Sweatt was in custody at the Gila County Jail on Thursday.

Payson Regional Medical Center Marketing Director Cory Houghton said the hospital's policy is not to give out information on any patient.

See related story:

Body found in trunk still unidentified (Feb. 23, 2007))

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