Suspects were already being held on unrelated charges


FARMINGTON — An Arizona sheriff's office has served warrants to two men on allegations of first-degree murder of a missing Farmington man who was found dead in August near Heber, Arizona.

Shawn Eckard and Jason Eric Johnson were indicted in the death of 44-year-old Craig Cavanaugh, according to a Coconino County Sheriff's Office press release.

Police served the warrant to Eckard on Feb. 28. He is in the custody of the Arizona Department of Corrections on unrelated charges, according to Coconino County Sheriff's Office Spokesman Jon Paxton.

Johnson is in the custody of the Colorado Department of Corrections on unrelated charges and was served a warrant on March 5.

During the investigation of the case, authorities released photos of two men who were believed to have used Cavanaugh's credit cards in the Phoenix area.

The cards were used between July 5 and July 7, but the men in the photo are not Eckard or Johnson, according to Paxton.

Both alleged suspects have not made a first court appearance on the first-degree murder case.

The cause of Cavanaugh's death was not listed in the Coconino County Sheriff's Office press release.

Cavanaugh was last seen on July 4 in the Farmington area as he headed to a job in Peoria, Arizona, in a 2012 Toyota Tacoma truck. His phone was tracked to a location in Payson, Arizona.

His body was recovered on Aug. 5 in a wooded area along Arizona Highway 260 near Heber, Arizona. He was identified on Aug. 28 by the Pima County Medical Examiner using his fingerprints.

Multiple agencies assisted in the investigation, including the Farmington Police Department, the Navajo County Sheriff's Office, the U.S. Marshals Office and the Chandler and Glendale, Arizona police departments.

The Coconino County Sheriff's Office launched its investigation on July 17 when Farmington police requested assistance with Cavanaugh's missing person case.

Since Cavanaugh's body was found, detectives for Coconino County have been investigating the case as a homicide.

They presented evidence to the Navajo County Attorney’s Office for charging, and the case was later presented to a grand jury.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at

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