Officials Believe Man’s Death Heat Related

Body discovered in desert south of Apache Junction on July 24

A man was found deceased in the desert south of Apache Junction last Tuesday, July 24.

Superstition Fire & Medical District (SFMD) responded to a call for an unconscious hiker about 1:30 p.m. According to SFMD officials, paramedics found the body of a man in his 40s in a desert area near Baseline and Goldfield Roads. The deceased was determined to be homeless and camping nearby.

Outside temperatures reached into the 110s on Tuesday, and officials believe the death was heat related.

The Apache Junction Police Department is investigating the death.

“This is a tragic reminder to limit your time outdoors and to stay hydrated in these extreme heat conditions,” said SFMD Assistant Chief Rick Ochs. “Heat relief stations are available throughout our community and can provide cold water and a cool area to rest for those in need.”

In Gold Canyon, GC United Methodist Church Food Bank on Kings Ranch Rd. near U.S. 60 provides heat relief and water 5 days a week. Similar stations are in operation in Apache Junction at Table of Grace Christian Church, 1075 S. Idaho Rd.; Salvation Army, 605 E. Broadway Ave.; Genesis Project, 564 N. Idaho Rd. #35; AJ Chamber of Commerce, 567 W. Apache Trail and Hope Women’s Center, 252 N. Ironwood Dr. More heat relief stations are needed according to United Way of Pinal County.

In a recent social media post it was stated that, “Pinal County doesn’t have enough affordable or transitional housing, shelters or homeless prevention dollars to help folks that are struggling to keep off the streets or desert.” The organization suggests: “Support the Pinal County Heat Relief Network by opening your door to let folks cool off and hydrate. It will take years to build housing infrastructure, but days for us to respond with more cooling stations, a day center to cool off or more water distribution stations.

Register to help at or contact UWPC for volunteer opportunities to help combat this brutal heat.”

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