AMANDA LEE MYERS
PHOENIX (AP) - In the desert within 35 miles of the Phoenix metro area, Arizona authorities found a car ablaze with five bodies burned beyond recognition inside.
The location of the smoldering car in a smuggling corridor known as the Vekol Valley and the nature of the crime have Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu saying that he's all but certain a violent cartel is responsible.
The Pima County Medical Examiner's Office was conducting autopsies Monday, two days after the bodies were found. The coroner will have to rely on dental records in an effort to identify them.
The autopsies also will determine whether the five people were killed before they were burned or whether they were alive when the car was set on fire.
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