Arrest Made in Storage Unit Death

Published: Mar. 2, 2007 at 3:47 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 14, 2007 at 2:18 AM MST
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By Teresa Jun, KOLD News 13

Tucson police arrested a man late Thursday in connection with the killing of a girl, whose body was found in a rental storage unit in the mid-town area.  Police arrested 28-year-old Christopher Matthew Payne, on charges of first-degree murder and child abuse.

This is in connetion to the discovery of a young girl, around 2 to 4 years old, who was found dead in a plastic container, inside a storage unit at U-Store-It rental facility near Prince Road and First Avenue, February 18.

Investigators say Payne was somehow involved in the renting of that unit, but was not the actual renter himself.

Police remained extremely tight-lipped Thursday night, offering no information on the identity of the victim, exactly how old she is, or even what her relation is to Payne.  Detectives are also not revealing what points them to Payne as a suspect, or how he is exactly involved in this case.

"Through excellent detective work, our detectives were able to identify this (suspect,) but we really can't go into details of the case at this point," said Asst. Chief Roberto Villasenor, of the Tucson Police Department.  When pressed by reporters for details, he added, "Our priority has to be to the integrity of this investigation, and I hope you understand that."

The investigation is still very active and on-going.  Police expect more developments could still follow in the days to come.

Stay tuned to KOLD News 13 and for updates.