Skeletal remains found in a desert area in Peoria last week have been identified as belonging to Deborah Lee Delaney, a 54-year-old woman missing since April of 2011.
The remains were found by hikers on February 6, south of milepost 17 on State Route 74.
Delaney was identified using dental records. She suspiciously disappeared from her Peoria home. Her daughter reported her missing on April 25, 2011 because she didn't call her on Easter. They last talked on April 18.
Deborah's husband, William Raymond Delaney, told police she had left him. In a letter that police found, Deborah wrote that she was leaving her husband, and if she were found dead, to suspect him.
Delaney was identified as the sole suspect in her disappearance and probable murder.
Detectives poured through records, surveillance, and served search warrants on Delaney's property and vehicles. Despite the fact that Deborah's body had not been found, police submitted charges of first degree murder for William Delaney.
On May 9, 2012, before Delaney could be taken into custody, he took his own life inside his vehicle at the Mormon Lake Overlook outside of Flagstaff. He died of a single gunshot wound to the head.
Peoria Police say the discovery of Deborah's remains, along with all the other evidence in this investigation, has reinforced their suspicion that Delaney was responsible for killing his wife and disposing of the body.
Delaney was a retired Sun City firefighter and paramedic.