Murder of beloved chaplain in Yuma remains unsolved 40 years later

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Murder of beloved chaplain in Yuma remains unsolved 40 years later

YUMA, AZ — It was Nov. 10, 1982, when Yuma Police officers were called to the El Rancho Motel for reports of a possible death.

When they arrived, they found a man in a bed in one of the motel rooms with his hands tied behind his back. He had died of asphyxiation, officials said.

Police say the victim was identified as 54-year-old Father Benjamin J. Carrier, a University of San Diego chaplain.

benjamin carrier.png

Yuma PD

Local news station KYMA reported that multiple people were questioned in connection to the crime, but now, 40 years later, his murder remains unsolved.

Yuma police say two men were seen with Father Carrier at the motel and his vehicle was found three days later in Las Vegas.

A composite sketch was drawn of the men seen before his death. Police vaguely described them as “two white males.”

benjamin carrier composite suspects.png

Yuma PD

A composite sketch shows two men seen with Father Benjamin J. Carrier before his death.

An apparent archive image of The Daily Californian newspaper from Nov. 11, 1982, says Father Carrier often picked up hitchhikers against the advice of others.

Upon winning the 1981 Bishop Buddy Award, he was described as “a dedicated, selfless man who has given his life blood for the love of others” in a University of San Diego archive.

The university also said Carrier helped with “drug abuse counselling and rehabilitation of former prison inmates.”

A biographical book, titled ‘Simply Benjamin,’ was written about Carrier by Enid Lanyon in the 1990s.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 78-CRIME at 928-782-7463. You can remain anonymous.



ABC15 Arizona

Jean Simmons
Jean Simmons

Jean has spent her whole life in Phoenix and lives for the Local News

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