A Colorado man thought to be missing earlier in the week is facing a first degree murder charge after the dismembered body found in his vehicle was positively identified as his mother.
Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson told ABCNews.com that the Arapahoe County coroner confirmed on Thursday that the dismembered body found in the back of 24-year-old Ari Misha Liggett's gold Honda CR-V was his mother, Beverly Liggett, 56, of Centennial, Colo.
The mother and son had been reported missing from their home in Centennial on Monday night. While credit card records led authorities to believe the two had traveled to the western slope of Colorado Tuesday morning, sheriff's deputies observed Liggett's SUV driving near the family's home early Wednesday morning.
While being pursued by police, Ari Liggett was arrested after he crashed his car at around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, Robinson said. Authorities found a deceased woman's body in his vehicle, which has since been identified as his mother, Beverly.
Liggett is currently being held in Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office Detention Facility without bond. To complicate the investigation, Robinson said the family's relatives called the sheriff's office to notify them about the presence of a suspicious liquid found in the home on Tuesday.
"A preliminary test of that liquid showed a positive for potassium cyanide," said Robinson. "It changed our perspective dramatically."
Robinson said that the chemical was lethal when ingested in solid or liquid form, and that vapors could be harmful in a closed environment. "A detailed missing person's investigation became a complex hazardous material investigation combined with a very complex homicide," Robinson said.
According to ABC affiliate KMGH, Liggett was involved with the March 2010 evacuation of a Boulder, Colo. homeless shelter after he told police he had stored hazardous chemicals a suitcase in the facility.
Robinson said a hazmat team went to the Liggett home on Thursday to render the toxic materials safe so that investigators could enter. The chemicals were not a threat to other homes in the neighborhood, he said.
Robinson said he could not discuss what authorities found inside the home, as the details were part of an ongoing investigation. Liggett is due back in court on October 23.