Charges Brought in Missing Person Investigation
PHOENIX, Ariz. – Preston Henry Tolth, 23, of New Mexico, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Phoenix on March 14, 2023. The grand jury returned a two-count indictment for Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Carjacking Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury.
The indictment alleges that, on or about June 15, 2021, Tolth assaulted the victim, resulting in serious bodily injury to her. It further alleges that Tolth took the victim's Ford F150 pick-up truck, and transported it across state lines, with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury to the victim.
“This indictment is an important first step in determining the truth about what happened to an elderly victim on the Navajo Nation,” said U.S. Attorney Gary Restaino. “The indictment charges the defendant with carjacking and assault; the investigation is ongoing.”
A conviction for Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A conviction for Carjacking Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
An indictment is simply a method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
This investigation is part of the Department of Justice’s efforts to address cases involving missing and murdered indigenous persons.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, along with the Navajo Nation Department of Criminal Investigations, conducted the investigation in this case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Phoenix, is handling the prosecution.
CASE NUMBER: CR-23-8043-PCT-DLR-MTM
RELEASE NUMBER: 2023-049_Tolth
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For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/
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Diana L. Varela