PHOENIX — Arizona authorities said Sunday they had few clues in the killing of a New Hampshire man and woman found shot to death in their parked car near the scenic resort town of Sedona.
The killings of James Johnson of Jaffrey and Carol Raynsford of Nelson, both 62, remain a mystery, and detectives are trying to trace their travels in their efforts to identify suspects.
The couple were apparently vacationing in the area, Yavapai County sheriff’s spokesman Dwight D’Evelyn said Sunday. Johnson also may have been considering moving to northern Arizona.
Members of a Jeep club found them in their red older-model Subaru sedan at a remote turnout on Arizona 89A on Friday morning. The winding mountain road through extremely rugged country connects Sedona with Flagstaff, both towns the couple had apparently visited in recent days.
Someone shot them with a .223-caliber rifle while they were parked on a highway turnout, D’Evelyn said. Detectives found numerous casings from the rifle on both sides of the car.
“It doesn’t appear it was provoked in any way, that’s what makes it so unusual and baffling for our detectives,” he said. D’Evelyn said Johnson and Raynsford were not married but he did not know if they were romantically involved or just friends.
Deputies are looking for an older white Chevrolet or Dodge pickup with an older camper shell and red ribbons hanging from the rear-view mirror seen in the area. They have posted a reward and are asking anyone with information to call the sheriff’s office or the county’s Silent Witness program.
Deputies aren’t sure when Johnson and Raynsford were killed, D’Evelyn said. Some callers reported seeing the car parked at the turnout on Thursday, and detectives are using receipts and other items found inside the vehicle to try to trace their steps and establish a timeline.