- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - Months after three homicide victims’ bodies were found on a desert property in western Arizona, a sheriff’s official says the investigation is at a point where he’s confident authorities know who was responsible.

However, La Paz County sheriff’s Lt. Curt Bagby said no charges have been filed in the April killings of three Washington state residents because the suspect remains jailed in another case.

Bagby said that allows the homicide investigation to gradually move forward as DNA evidence is processed before charges are filed.

“It’s not forgotten,” Bagby said of the triple homicide.

The suspect, 25-year-old Kitage Lynch of Phoenix, awaits trial in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix on crimes accusing him of shooting at police in Glendale just days after the victims’ bodies were found.

Lynch has pleaded not guilty in the Glendale case. His defense attorney in that case, Bruce Alldredge, didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Associated Press for comment. A senior La Paz County prosecutor, Chief Deputy County Attorney Karen Hobbs, also did not immediately return a call for comment on the triple homicide case.

Bagby said during a phone interview there’s no indication that more than one person was responsible for the killings of 83-year-old Lester Lindsay and 76-year-old Ella Lindsay, a married couple from Wenatchee, Washington, and 81-year-old Alice Boyd of Bingen, Washington.

“I’m confident with our preliminary physical and biological (evidence) that we do have the right guy,” he said. “We are very confident that he was alone.”

Witnesses have said they saw a person matching Lynch’s description “kind of wandering” near the area of the homicides and investigators suspect Lynch somehow was stranded and that obtaining transportation may have been a motive for the killings, Bagby said.

Authorities have previously said Lynch had a vehicle of one of the homicide victims and a gun stolen from the La Paz County location when he was arrested in Glendale after allegedly shooting at officers who responded to a report of a man firing a gun in a field. Neither officer was injured.

“We know how he got out of there,” Bagby said, referring to the La Paz County location. “We don’t know how he got there.”

To avoid releasing graphic information that could taint a pool of potential jurors, Bagby said authorities are withholding details on the manner of death.

Bagby said investigators are awaiting results of DNA tests to compare hair and blood samples obtained from Lynch with evidence from the homicide scene. Holding off on filing charges in the homicides avoids starting a legal clock on speedy trial deadlines, Bagby said.

With Lynch behind bars in the Glendale case, “in a way we’re kind of happy they have their own charges,” Bagby said.

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