Man charged in Ariz. attack on Park Service worker
BISBEE, Ariz. (AP) — A man who is already in federal custody has been indicted in an attack on a National Park Service employee in southeastern Arizona last year, authorities said Friday.
A Cochise County grand jury on Thursday indicted Gil Gaxiola, 33, on charges of attempted first- and second-degree murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault, kidnapping and theft of means of transportation.
The Park Service employee, Karen Gonzales, was found unconscious from head trauma in a picnic area restroom at Chiricahua National Monument on Aug. 28.
Authorities said the 58-year-old uniformed maintenance worker and longtime seasonal Park Service employee was struck with a large rock. She was airlifted to a Tucson hospital.
Gonzales’ government vehicle was found hours later about 40 miles away in Douglas by tracking her cellphone, which was still inside.
The recovered vehicle was processed by the FBI for evidence, which authorities said linked Gaxiola to the case last week.
County sheriff’s officials said Gaxiola, from Sonora, Mexico, was arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol in Douglas the day after Gonzales was attacked.
It wasn’t immediately clear why Gaxiola was in custody and authorities didn’t immediately know Friday if he has a lawyer.