Ariz. Man Allegedly Said He 'Snapped' and Killed, Dismembered Girlfriend Before Burying Her in Yard

Amy "Ruby" Leagans had moved to Arizona from Illinois over the summer

Amy Ruby Leagans
Photo: Chandler Police Department

An Arizona man has been charged with murder in the death of a missing woman whose remains were found near a river bottom.

On Oct. 27, Amy "Ruby" Leagans was reported missing after her family said they hadn't heard from her for six days. Approximately two weeks later, on Nov. 17, Leagans' body were found near a river bottom in Phoenix. The body showed obvious signs of trauma, according to police documents filed in court, obtained by ABC15, 12News and AZ Family.

On Nov. 25, 61-year-old Timothy Sullivan was taken into police custody. According to the police documents, Sullivan allegedly admitted killing Leagans after the pair had an argument and "he snapped."

Sullivan allegedly told investigators he choked Leagans to death and left her body in her Chandler apartment for two days. He then allegedly wrapped her body in a tarp and buried it in a backyard in Scottsdale. When he "became worried," Sullivan allegedly exhumed and dismembered Leagans's body before putting the remains in separate plastic bags inside trash cans throughout the area, he told police, according to the documents.

Dental records were used to identify Leagans's remains.

Investigators wrote Sullivan "indicated that his actions were spontaneous and heinous in nature," according to the documents.

"It’s gruesome. It is heartbreaking, it’s just absolutely heartbreaking," Christa Holton, Leagans's older sister, told 12News.

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Through their investigation, authorities learned Leagans had moved to Arizona from Illinois over the summer. She met Sullivan through a friend and the two started a relationship. However, during their relationship, a report was made that Sullivan had allegedly assaulted Leagans, according to the documents.

When police initially contacted Sullivan, who they say has a violent criminal history of domestic violence, they found him living with his ex-girlfriend in Scottsdale. He allegedly told police he had met Leagans before but was not in a relationship with her. Authorities say they observed Sullivan's car parked outside the home with bleach, gloves, bedding, a duffle bag and cleaning supplies inside.

Sullivan has been charged with second-degree murder. He is scheduled to appear in court Thursday. Attorney information was not available Wednesday.

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