The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office recently identified the victim from a 2020 homicide investigation.
In October of 2020, a body was found in a shallow grave north of Flagstaff, off Highway 180 near the Lava Caves. At the time, the body was unable to be identified due to the stage of decomposition.
Work done by the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigators and the Coconino County Medical Examiners Office led to the declaration of a homicide.
A DNA sample was then sent to a forensic genealogy lab in May of 2021. In January of 2023, analysis of the sample connected the victim to a specific family tree. At the time, a member of the family in question was unaccounted for.
The missing family member was identified as David Clark Wilkinson, who was known to spend time in Phoenix and Prescott throughout 2019 and 2020. Wilkinson was also known to have spent time in Northern Arizona, prompting the release of a missing person flyer.
Shortly after, further DNA analysis confirmed Wilkinson was the victim in this homicide investigation.
Deputies described Wilkinson as a 56-year-old white male, approximately 5 foot 11 inches, weighing about 165 pounds. Investigators say Wilkinson could have been traveling with one or two dogs, while operating a white 1997 Toyota Paseo.
Law enforcement believe Wilkinson had been camping in the Prescott National Forest and the Coconino National Forest.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.