Veterans on Patrol discovers disturbing abandoned camp in Tucson
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Veterans on Patrol is a group that looks for homeless veterans. They search washes and bridges looking for homeless vets that they can help get off the streets.
"The solar lights are what gave it away," said Lewis Arthur. "If we hadn't been walking on the right trail we would have never seen it, we would have walked right past it."
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But the camp this group found on Tuesday night, May 29 near I-19 and Valencia was suspicious. In their eyes, it didn't look like a typical homeless camp.
The group found several suspicious and disturbing things, like trees that had restraints on them, a crib, a stroller, in addition to hair dye, an outdoor bathroom and pornographic material.
"And we are right there and our city is right there, our children are right there and it's not my problem if it's not in my backyard," said Arthur. "Now it's in our backyard."
On Thursday afternoon, May 31 Tucson News Now toured the area with Craig Sawyer and Jerry Peyton, a former Navy SEAL and Tucson firefighter, to get their thoughts on what this camp might have been.
"I didn't expect to see something this heinous and inhumane this close," Sawyer said. "I served in the military to keep things like this from happening here that's why I risked my security, so nobody here would have to put up with this."
The "cave" the group found is about 5-feet high and at the end is a tire and a large water container. Even more disturbing is what was found inside the container - a dresser and two crates. It was not big enough for an adult, but a child could easily fit inside.
"I have heard of rooms full of kids in houses and basements and things like that, but nothing underground like this, like an underground cell that's pretty creepy," Sawyer said.
He said it looked like the last time someone was at this camp was possibly 10 days ago, and he believes they could come back.
"In fact there's another one nearby that they found that they are already digging with fresh tools and fresh dirt," Sawyer said.
We were told Tucson Police Department investigators were out to the camp recently to take photos and write a report.
We reached out to the department and have yet to hear back from them.
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