New Mexico man Craig Cavanaugh missing since July found dead in Arizona

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By Andrea Cavallier

A body found in Arizona was identified Thursday as 44-year-old missing New Mexico man Craig Cavanaugh, the Farmington Police Department said in a press release.

Authorities said two suspects have been identified in the case.

Craig Cavanaugh’s body was located by Navajo County and Coconino County authorities and identified on August 28, 2019, Farmington Police Department Public Information Officer Nicole Brown stated in the release.

The release provided few new details in the investigation.

“Farmington police detectives have been working closely with both Coconino and Navajo County in their search for Craig since he went missing in early July,” the August 28 release stated. “Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and Navajo County Sheriff’s Office are now taking over this case, as a death investigation. There have been two suspects identified in this case, and it is still an active investigation.”

As Dateline reported in its Missing in America series in July, Craig was last seen in Farmington on July 4, 2019. He was headed to Peoria, Arizona for a job, but never arrived.

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Craig’s phone was last pinged in Payson, Arizona and according to PIO Nicole Brown, a witness stated they saw him in Payson, but no other evidence supported that statement.

Payson, Arizona is about 100 miles outside of Craig’s intended destination of Peoria. According to authorities, Craig was making the drive in his 2012 Toyota Tacoma truck. When Craig disappeared, his truck and credit cards vanished as well.

Within a few days, there was activity on his credit cards: They were used by two males in Payson, Glendale, and Peoria between July 5 and July 7, 2019.

The males using the credit cards were identified by Farmington detectives working with Arizona law enforcement agencies.

Their identities have not been released and is not known if the men are connected to Craig’s death.

The Help Us Find Craig Cavanaugh Facebook page posted a statement from Craig’s family, stating he was found deceased.

“It is with extreme sadness and heartbreak that we announce to you that Craig Cavanaugh was found deceased,” according to the statement. “He was a beloved father of two daughters, Micaylah and Gracie, a loving son, devoted fiancé, nephew, cousin and friend. Since he went missing on July 4th, we prayed everyday for a different ending and we are completely devastated to learn this news.”

The statement continued, “We want to thank every person that has followed this case, prayed with and for us, helped search or simply just reached out to send their thoughts. We know you share in our sadness of this news. Your loyal support and kind words have helped us through this.

We want to extend our sincerest appreciation to Detective Lauren Jones from the Coconino Sheriff’s Department, Detective Kenneth Smith from the Farmington Police Department, all of the other agents, investigators and law enforcement agencies.”

The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office will be the contact agency for any further tips or information regarding this case. They can be reached at 928-774-4523.