Man accused of killing girlfriend, burying body in gun safe

PHOENIX (AP) - A 59-year-old Phoenix man is accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend and putting her body in a gun safe that he welded shut and buried in the desert.

Paul Palandri remained jailed Saturday following his arrest Thursday on suspicion of second-degree murder in the 2016 killing of 51-year-old Jana Van Sickle. Court records don't list a defense attorney who could comment on the allegations.

Police said Van Sickle told a friend that Palandri was bad for her and that she planned to break up with him.

Van Sickle's body was found on the Gila River Indian Community after the gun safe was spotted after being partially exposed by digging by wild animals.

Police said Palandri denied killing Van Sickle but a witness recently reported hearing him saying he'd killed her.