Phoenix police believe they have found the body of Julie Concialdi, who was reported missing by her husband, Joseph, on September 6.
The body was found at approximately 3 p.m. October 1 in the area of 5600 E. Deer Valley Road that was open desert, just north of the Loop 101. Phoenix Police Sgt. Mercedes Fortune said the medical examiner will determine the cause of death and the identity of the body.
Joseph, who lived with his wife in North Phoenix, was arrested in September on charges of first-degree murder of his 59-year-old wife of 30 years.
“It was investigative techniques that allowed us to get this information,” Fortune said.
The discovery supports the arrest, she added. Fortune said investigators will decide if there will be additional charges in the case.
In Joseph’s missing persons’ report, he claimed he last saw his wife on the evening of September 4, the same night the Phoenix Fire and Police departments responded to a car fire in an industrial business area in Deer Valley at around 11:07 p.m., according to police documents.
After the car fire was extinguished, police determined the vehicle was registered to the couple. Investigators attempted to contact them by phone and in person but were unable to, documents say. The vehicle was later impounded and thought to be stolen.
A later examination found the fire was set intentionally, and video footage showed someone walking away from the fire without looking back while holding an unidentified object. However, the video footage wasn’t clear enough to identify the person.
According to the documents, when the police went to the couple’s home at 1:33 a.m. September 5 to notify the couple about the car fire, bodycam footage showed Joseph’s work truck was parked in the driveway—which didn’t line up with his alibi.
On the evening of September 4, the last time he claimed to have seen his wife, Joseph said the couple got in a heated argument about vacation plans. He claimed that it escalated to a point where he felt he needed to remove himself from the house and walk around the neighborhood.
After a 10-minute walk, he claimed he briefly returned home to grab clothes before leaving in his work truck for a nearby Fry’s grocery store to get food before leaving to camp alone in a remote area outside Payson, the documents state. He stated that he didn’t interact with anybody else.
However, his work truck was still in the driveway when the police arrived to notify them of the car fire around 1:33 a.m. on September 5, hours after he claimed he left for Payson, court documents state.
An investigation into Joseph’s phone records found he frequently corresponded with a woman who lived in Payson. Investigators contacted the woman and found the two were having an affair since March. He met the woman on a dating app where he portrayed himself as “almost divorced,” documents say.
“Joseph’s own admissions paint the marriage as a tumultuous one, with prior separations and talk of divorce,” according to court documents. He told his son that a divorce would be “financially damaging” for him. Julie left behind a life insurance policy, the addendum states.
Multiple witnesses confirmed that Julie was suspicious that her husband was unfaithful, documents state. After investigation, it was made apparent that he visited the woman in Payson on the weekend of September 5 instead of camping solo.
Julie’s phone activity abruptly stopped on September 2 after seeing her doctor. She didn’t return calls or texts from her adult children, which they described as uncharacteristic.
She was on vacation from her job from August 31 to September 7 but didn’t return to work, the documents state. Her employer of 25 years said this was unlike her, saying she was a reliable and conscientious employee. She made almost $100,000 a year at that job.
She left behind her wallet, identification and payment methods as well as all her clothing, belongings and medications, according to the documents.
Police identified Joseph Concialdi as a suspect from video footage acquired from the nearby Fry’s grocery store that he went to on the night of his wife’s disappearance. In the video footage from Fry’s at 8:53 p.m., Joseph was wearing the same clothing as the suspect in the video footage from the car fire, the addendum says.
“We’re always hoping we find someone safe,” Fortune said. “Our hope is to find a good ending or outcome to any investigation. We found a body we believe is Julie. As tragic as it is, we hope it brings closure to her family. That’s something the investigators are truly passionate about.”