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Man convicted for torching dead body in vehicle near Silverbell Mine

TUCSON – A man has been convicted for torching a vehicle that contained a dead body in 2015.

According to Pima County Attorney’s Office, Douglas Aukerman, who lived with the victim in Mesa, and his girlfriend drove two vehicles to Tucson. Officials say one vehicle belonged to the victim, the other belonged to the victim’s mother.

Douglas Aukerman/ Pima County Attorney’s Office

The couple drove the vehicles to a desert area near the Silverbell Mine. The following day, the victim’s mother’s car was found by law enforcement officers burned down to the frame with skeletal remains in the back of the vehicle.

According to authorities, the remains were found with evidence that the victim was rapped in duct tape, baling war, a tarp and a mattress cover before the fire.

Officials say the girlfriend and a witness said they smelled decomposition coming from the victim’s mother’s vehicle prior to the burning.

Noel Sederstrom

Noel Sederstrom

Noel Sederstrom joined the KTTC-TV staff as News Director in February, 2008. He's a native Minnesotan, having grown up on a farm near Litchfield, and also spending a lot of time on Lake Vermilion near Tower-Soudan, where his grandfather Gust Saari worked in the Soudan Underground Mine. After studying journalism at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, Noel worked as a reporter, anchor, producer and Executive Producer at television stations in Duluth, Little Rock, Buffalo, Louisville and Kalamazoo, Michigan. Noel was the News Director at WWMT-TV in Kalamazoo for seven of his 18 years at the CBS affiliate before returning to Minnesota. He and his wife Cindy have two grown children and make their home in Rochester. Email Noel at
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