Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Detectives are continuing their investigation into a 2022 double homicide. On June 28, 2022 at 8:15 PM, Deputies responded to a residence in the 9200 block of Dilligaf Rd. for a welfare check where two deceased victims were located. The victims were identified as Darren Vanhouten (50) and Retta Atkins (73). Through preliminary investigations, it was learned that an unknown subject was observed on video surveillance on the property at the time of the incident. Several photographs and video clips form home security system were released in an effort to identify the suspect.

On Thursday (3/23), Detectives issued an arrest warrant for Daniel Matthew Avila, 25 of El Mirage, for 2 counts of first-degree homicide. Daniel Avila is currently in custody in Maricopa County for unrelated charges. Detectives learned of Avila when he was arrested in February for a home invasion crime in Tempe, AZ. During that arrest, Avila was in possession of a firearm, that was connected to the murder of Darren Vanhouten and Retta Atkins, using the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) from bullets located at the crime scene.

During the homicide incident, the suspect was seen on surveillance with blood on his left shoulder, believed to be a gunshot wound sustained during the homicide. When Avila was contacted by Detectives, scarring consistent with a gunshot wound was observed on his left shoulder area.

Detectives are continuing the investigation and requesting information from the public, as Avila is believed to have no known connections to the area or to the victims in this incident of the homicide. Below is an image of the suspect from the victim’s home surveillance system, along with an image of Avila when he was arrested by the Tempe Police Department. Anyone with any information about Daniel Avila is encouraged to contact the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Detective Division at 928-753-0753 ext. 4288.



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