Man charged with manslaughter after allegedly hiding victims after deadly crash

Crash allegedly occurred after a night of drinking

Staff Reports

PHOENIX – Detectives with the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) arrested a Maricopa man on charges of two counts of manslaughter after the man reportedly hid two bodies after they died in a crash on State Route 143 near the junction with Interstate 10.

The crash occurred at about 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 19 and involved a heavily damaged 2015 Nissan car. According to a release from the DPS, a witness observed a white male walk away from the crash.

Upon inspection of the vehicle, a DPS trooper was unable to locate the driver of the vehicle or any victims.

A 9 p.m. the same day, Phoenix Police received a 911 call regarding two bodies that were found approximately 50 feet south of the earlier crash scene. A family member of one of the victims had tracked a cellphone to the location and the two victims, Johnnie Verdoza, 21, of Maricopa, and Carlos E. Monteverde Garcia, 25, of Sonora, Mexico, were found deceased and had apparently been concealed with foliage.

Still later, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office informed DPS that they had received a call from Byron Jesus Carrillo, 21, of Maricopa, who said he had been a passenger in the crash. Carrillo allegedly said he and some friends had been drinking at a bar in Tempe and were headed home to Maricopa when the crash occurred.

Carillo said he climbed out of the wrecked vehicle and looked for his two friends but were not able to find them. He said the driver of the car, Thomas Robert Sikes, 22, of Maricopa, then convinced him to leave the area with him. The pair were then picked up at a nearby gas station by Sikes’ girlfriend, Adriana Colin-Lemus, and left the area.

Sikes was later arrested by detectives and booked into jail on two counts of manslaughter and one count of endangerment. Carillo was arrested and booked for obstruction of a criminal investigation, and Colin-Lemus, of Peoria, was arrested and booked for hindering prosecution.