Dead man, rare rattlesnakes recovered from Parker Canyon Lake area
SIERRA VISTA — The body of 57-year-old Daniel Genaro was recovered near Parker Canyon Lake on Saturday, along with a backpack containing two state-protected ridged-nosed rattlesnakes.
The ridged-nose rattlesnake is the state reptile of Arizona and one of four species of rattlesnakes afforded special protections under Arizona law.
The U.S. Border Patrol contacted the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, after locating a body in the area of Sunnyside Canyon, said Carol Capas, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office. Deputies responded and located Genaro lying on his back with a black backpack, a holstered .22-caliber revolver, and several forms of identification. His vehicle was found nearby.
Genaro’s body was located in extremely rough terrain and the Cochise County Search and Rescue assisted with recovery and transport, Capas said. Genaro, who has lived in Safford and Maricopa, was reported missing by his family on Friday after his employer said he failed to show up for work.
The Pima County medical examiner’s office has the body and anticipates completing the autopsy report in six to eight weeks.
Genaro had a history of medical issues, Capas said, though she could not offer any details.
The sheriff’s office will wait for the autopsy report to determine if further investigation is necessary, she said. The snakes were dead when the body was discovered.
Mark Hart, a Tucson-based spokesperon for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, said trade in these snakes is illegal and his agency does run accross some cases of poachers in the summer months but did not have specific information available.
“Suffice it to say, illegal trade in thes animals is lucrative,” Hart said.
The ridge-nosed rattlesnake sells for a lot of money on the black market, though they are only valuable if they’re alive, said Russ Johnson, president of the Phoenix Herpetological Society. The snakes would not last long inside a hot backpack and likely died before Genaro’s body was discovered.
“It’s a very coveted rattlesnake,” Johnson said. It’s one of the two most sought rattlesnakes in the United States.
“People are always trying poach them out here,” he said. Rare rattlers are kept as prized pets.
“That’s the eye candy of the world,” Johnson said.
If you find a correction for this story, please contact our editorial department