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Possible Nye connection to remains found in Arizona desert

A Nye County County connection may exist to a case involving remains found in Arizona.

The remains of a 62-year-old man whose suspicious disappearance last October prompted a Las Vegas police homicide investigation have been found in a desert area in Arizona.

“Our detectives received information that at least one of the persons of interest in this case are located in Nye County,” Sgt. Jeff Clar of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said in an email provided this week to the Pahrump Valley Times.

David Rathbun, of Las Vegas, was reported missing just before 5:45 a.m. on Oct. 16, 2017. His family told police they had not heard from him for a month. Metropolitan Police Department detectives determined that several ATM withdrawals were made from Rathbun’s bank accounts after his disappearance.

Rathbun’s remains were found Aug. 6 in a remote desert area in Dolan Springs, Arizona, near the Nevada line, according to the Mohave County medical examiner’s office. He was positively identified Aug. 17. His cause and manner of death were pending last month.

In late December, then-Metro homicide Lt. Dan McGrath told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Rathbun had been included in the department’s 2017 homicide count. His death was the 129th homicide investigated by Metro that year, according to Review-Journal records.

In June, Metro released the identities of three persons of interest linked to Rathbun’s disappearance. Charles Ausiello, 55, and Jolene Hibbs, 45, are wanted on several outstanding felony arrest warrants for forgery, fraud and grand larceny in connection with the activity in Rathbun’s bank accounts after he was reported missing.

A third person of interest is suspected of making withdrawals from Rathbun’s account at a Wells Fargo near Boulder Highway and Indios Road, police said in June. The thinly built, bearded white man, who has not been named, was last seen wearing a flat-billed hat and a blue long-sleeved shirt.

Ausiello and Hibbs also are known to frequent the Boulder Highway corridor. Homicide Lt. Ray Spencer said in September that police still are searching for them.

Anyone with information can call Metro’s homicide section at 702-828-3521 or Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.

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