By Jon Johnson
TOHONO O’ODHAM NATION RESERVATION – A woman missing out of Safford since Aug. 17 was found deceased on the Tohono O’odham Nation Reservation on Aug. 23 and was later positively identified. The cause of her death and her autopsy results are still pending.
Jenny Haase, 51, was positively identified as the person authorities located near her car, which was found on the reservation toward Ajo.
The Tohono O’odham Nation extends west of Tucson to just east of Ajo and stretches from the international border with Mexico to just south of Casa Grande.
Haase was initially reported missing on Aug. 17 at about 4:14 a.m. after her husband woke up for work and noticed she was not home. Residential surveillance footage shows she left the residence at about 1:18 a.m. in her gray, 2011 Dodge Charger. She left the residence without her purse or cell phone and had only about three-quarters of a tank of gas, according to comments her husband made to a Graham County Sheriff’s Office deputy.
Police officers with the Tohono O’odham Police Department located Haase’s Charger on Aug. 18 and tagged it for illegal parking. However, it wasn’t until Aug. 22 after an article about Haase and her car being missing was published in the Gila Herald that Tohono O’odham Police officers contacted the Graham County Sheriff’s Office about its attempt to locate the Charger and advised they had found it.
Officers from the Tohono O’odham Nation then went back to the vehicle – which was in a brushy area – the following day on Aug. 23 and during a walk around the area discovered a deceased female later identified as Jenny Haase. The cause of death was not immediately released and Haase was scheduled for an autopsy with the Pima County Office of Medical Examiner. The autopsy results are still pending.
According to the initial Sheriff’s Office report, Haase had been depressed and not sleeping prior to becoming missing. She also reportedly had a history of mental health issues involving a religious obsession and had expressed a desire to “drop everything and just drive.”
Graham County Sheriff P.J. Allred said Haas’ Charger was found on the reservation between Sells and Ajo but wasn’t sure if she ran out of gas and then got out of her vehicle.
“It appears like she was headed for Ajo,” Allred said.
A 2011 Dodge Charger has a rated mileage of 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway and holds about 19 gallons. With three-quarters of a tank, it should have still gotten about 400 miles and Ajo is less than 300 miles from Safford.
The investigation is being handled by the Tohono O’odham Police Department since Haase and her car were found on their reservation.