Following Fatal Argument, Man Hid Wife's Body in Storage Unit Then Dumped It in Ariz. Desert: Police

Eugene Zamora is facing charges of manslaughter, tampering with physical evidence and abandonment or concealment of a dead body in the November death of his wife, Claudia Moreno

Claudia Moreno; Eugene Zamora
Claudia Moreno; Eugene Zamora. Photo: Tempe Police Department; MCSO

An Arizona man has been arrested on suspicion that he hid his wife's body in a storage unit before dumping her remains in the desert.

Eugene Zamora, 51, is facing charges of manslaughter, tampering with physical evidence and abandonment or concealment of a dead body in the 2021 death of his wife, Claudia Moreno.

He was also charged with the misdemeanor of making a false report to law enforcement.

According to a probable cause statement obtained by PEOPLE, Zamora allegedly told police that he was arguing with Moreno around 2 p.m. on Nov. 10 in their Tempe apartment when "he pushed the victim, causing her to fall backwards into the master bathroom and hit the back of her head on ledge of the bathtub, causing a laceration. Eugene checked on the victim and found that she had no pulse and was not breathing."

Zamora then allegedly placed his wife into a plastic tub and "hid her in the master bathroom closet," the police statement reads.

According to the statement, Zamora allegedly unplugged the exterior surveillance camera, turned off his wife's cell phone and tossed it into a lake in Ahwatukee.

Two days later, on Nov. 12, he allegedly transported the plastic tub with his wife from their home to his vehicle and then to their storage unit in Tempe.

According to a police news release obtained by PEOPLE, Zamora reported his wife missing on Nov. 13 and that she disappeared after a child custody dispute.

On Nov. 14, police said Zamora returned to the storage unit, loaded his wife into his vehicle, and then drove her body out to the desert, about 100 miles away, where he dumped her body and covered it up with brush and branches.

He then allegedly got rid of bin she had been stored in.

Police said on Nov. 15 "family members of the victim observed vertical and horizontal scratch marks on the inside of Eugene's right forearm, which appeared consistent with scratches from a sharp bush or plant and confirmed by Eugene."

Cell phone location data allegedly showed Zamora traveling to the storage unit.

He also "voluntarily directed police to the location he disposed of her remains," the statement reads.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

"At this time, investigators are awaiting analysis and confirmation if the remains located are in fact those of Claudia Moreno. This portion of the investigation is ongoing," police said in the news release.

Zamora was arrested on Feb. 5 and booked in Tempe City Jail.

He has yet to be charged.

It is unclear if he has retained an attorney to represent him.

Related Articles