Sheriff reveals new information on search for missing mom, son

Published: Aug. 1, 2016 at 8:35 PM MST|Updated: Feb. 28, 2018 at 5:16 PM MST
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Belen and Ernest Potts. (Source: Family)
Belen and Ernest Potts. (Source: Family)

PIMA COUNTY, AZ ( Tucson News Now) - Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos revealed new information Monday on the search for the mother and son who set out to hike at Redington Pass and never returned.

A woman's body, and a car belonging to Belen and Ernest Potts, were discovered Saturday, July 30, off an embankment in a remote area. The area is so rugged, Nanos said crews can't get a tow truck in the area.

Pima County Medical Examiner Greg Hess said he may be able to positively identify the body and make a ruling on the cause of death.  Nanos told KOLD News 13 the body showed no signs of trauma. He said investigators believe it's 55-year-old Belen Potts.

"There's nothing suspicious there," Nanos said.

Belen Potts was said to be with her 29-year-old son Ernest Potts when the two disappeared.

"We have someone saying they like to go to Redington Pass because they like to collect rocks," Nanos said. "There is some indication some rocks were being gathered, that they drove out there and got stuck. There are signs, evidence, they tried to get the vehicle unstuck."

There have been no reported sightings of Ernest Potts.

"Perhaps he knew they were stuck in a bad way and he's walking off to get help," Nanos said.

Nanos aid he hopes to have ground crews out Tuesday looking for Ernest Potts, weather permitting.

KOLD News 13 spoke with Belen Potts' other son, Robert, on Saturday.

Robert Potts said he is fairly certain the body discovered near the car is his mother.

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