The Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner recently released the post-mortem examination of the remains of a 66-year-old man found in a wilderness area adjacent to Pima Canyon Trail on Dec. 30, 2019. The remains were discovered with damage from scavengers and environmental conditions.
The post-mortem included examination of the human remains as well as the stomach contents of three mountain lions, which were found nearby and killed.
Because a police investigation of the death remains active, the Medical Examiner’s office will not reveal the suspected cause of death, however, a toxicology report tested positive for oxycodone and opioids. Only one of the slain mountain lions’ stomachs contained discernible human remains.
According to the report, predation and environmental elements can be attributed to the “observed taphonomic damage” consistent with a large predator.
The listed time and date of death was Dec. 30, 2019 around 4 p.m.
With fingerprint and dental comparisons, the remains are believed to belong to Steven Mark Brashear.
Brashear left Bartlesville, Oklahoma with another man on Dec. 7, 2019 in a gray Audi. According to a report released by the Oro Valley Police Department, Brashear was at a restaurant near the Tucson Mall, where he was allegedly picked up in a separate vehicle by an unknown person. The Bartlesville Police Department pinged Brashear’s cell phone and it was reported to be within a three mile radius of North Oracle and West Hardy roads.
A search of the area was unsuccessful for Brashear or his phone.
On Jan. 3, around 8 p.m., the Pima County Sheriff’s Department announced the arrest of 21-year-old Daylan Jacob Thornton for auto theft. The vehicle involved in the theft belonged to Steven Mark Brashear.
Thornton was reportedly with Brashear on his trip to Tucson, and responded to the missing person’s report about him. Thornton’s interaction with police led authorities to listing him as a person of interest in the case.
Logan Burtch-Buus and Jeff Gardner contributed to this story.