Authorities in Arizona were on alert after receiving a tip about an unreported murder from last April.
Working from that tip received on Friday, detectives in the Mojave County Sheriff’s Office began surveillance of a couple who lived together at a home in Kingman, a department spokesman, Anita Mortensen, tells PEOPLE.
When they finally obtained a search warrant for the property, investigators made a grisly discovery.
Buried in the backyard, “approximately a few feet down, not very deep at all,” was a 55-gallon drum, says Mortensen.
Inside the drum was a body.
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Police arrested the residents, 23-year-old Carrie Conlyn Vanover and her boyfriend, 31-year-old Mark Anthony Baldanado Jr., on charges of first-degree murder, says Mortensen.
Based upon statements made by the suspects, the victim is believed to be Vanover’s mother, Carrie Vanover, approximately 62 years of age, she says.
“Both subjects confessed to their involvement in the murder,” according to the sheriff’s office.
“The victim has not been positively identified by the medical examiner yet,” says Mortensen. “However, with the confession by Baldanado and Vanover, that is who we believe the victim is going to be identified as.”
Authorities did not reveal a cause of death, when the body was recovered, or say whether the victim lived at the same address with the suspects.
Both of the accused were booked into the Mohave County Adult Detention Center. An attorney who might speak on their behalf was not named.
The investigation is continuing, says Mortensen.