A campsite, nestled in the serene woods of Tonto National Forest, northeast of Payson, was abruptly transformed into a gruesome crime scene on a brisk Saturday morning, shattering its tranquil aura with the echoes of a deadly gunshot.
The gravity of the incident opens up with the Gila County Sheriff's Office nabbing 26-year-old Zachary Dillabough. Clocking 4:30 in the wee hours of Saturday, the unmistakable sound of gunfire rippled through the forest, triggering an immediate report. A credible female witness, alongside another female companion hysterically fleeing from the thick woods, lent credence to the tip-off towards Payson. In response, multiple law enforcement agencies including the Gila County Sheriff's Office, Payson Police Department, and the Tonto Apache Police Department swiftly mobilized and set the investigation wheel in motion, with intense focus pivoting towards the location of the alleged deadly incident.
However, as law enforcement converged on the campsite, the situation rapidly escalated. Dillabough, a resident of Scottsdale, was taken into custody, and stark proof of the reported grievous incident was established with the chilling discovery of a lifeless body. The criminal scene was meticulously searched, assuring no other shadowy forces were entangled in the shocking shooting. Remaining unflinching in his grim tryst with the justice system, Dillabough was thrusted into jail come Saturday afternoon, grappling with a severe indictment of 2nd-degree murder.
The unsettling incident, according to the Sheriff's Office, unfolded in the chilling dawn hours on Saturday. The site of the shocking event was traced north of Payson, in proximity with the Rim Trail subdivision.
The authorities were proactively alerted to the impending crisis at approximately 4:30 a.m. through a 911 call. An anxious woman claimed to have been jarred by the frightening din of gunshots, with yet another panic-stricken woman bolting out from the woods. Intimations of the involvement of several individuals heightened the palpable tension, as per Sheriff's Office records.
Banding together in urgency, officials from the Sheriff's Office, Payson Police Department, and Tonto Apache Police Department stormed the scene to probe the horrifying episode.
The diligent investigators managed to triangulate a concealed camp in the wilderness, pegged as the anticipated locus of the shooting. An individual, who could provide possible insights, was corralled at the site, thus maintaining the investigative momentum.
With careful scrutiny of the area, the Sheriff's Office found no further complicating factors or hidden accomplices involved in the fatal shooting.