Coroner: Body found near corn field is Selena Thomas

Coroner: Body found near corn field is Selena Thomas
(***UPDATE***) - The Canyon County Coroner has confirmed that the body found near a corn field Thursday is Selena Thomas.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A body, believed to be that of a missing Nampa woman, has been recovered from a shallow grave in a cornfield in southwestern Idaho, Nampa police said Friday.

A woman's body was unearthed at 12:30 p.m. and brought to a hospital for X-rays before being taken to the Canyon County coroner's office for an autopsy and identification, Nampa Police Sgt. Joe Ramirez said.

Selena Thomas, 37, was reported missing on Monday after she didn't show up for work. She was last seen by co-workers on Aug. 15.

Officers began searching in the field east of Melba on Wednesday evening after Thomas' boyfriend reportedly told officers he hit her in the head with a hammer, pushed her causing her to hit her head on a dresser, wrapped her body in a sheet, stuffed her into the trunk of her car and buried her in a cornfield near the Snake River with the help of three other men.

The boyfriend, 39-year-old Alfredo Martinez, was in custody on a parole violation, but he was not immediately charged in the death.

Martinez's nephew, Jose Cruz Flores, was charged Wednesday with accessory to second-degree murder, burglary and destroying evidence and was ordered held on $500,000 bail.

His attorney, Alexander Briggs, said Flores went to police after he learned Thomas was missing and told them he believed his uncle might have had something to do with her disappearance.

"What just absolutely shocked me is they then turned around and charged him with the crimes when he was the one that went in and gave them this information," Briggs said Friday. He said the charges are "based on the word of this confessed killer."

Daniel Francisco Sena and Jorge Luis Garcia are each charged with destroying and concealing evidence. Sena's bail is $250,000 and Garcia's $200,000. Canyon County officials say they would be appointed public defenders.

None of the three men have entered pleas, and preliminary hearings are set for Sept. 2.

Officials in Canyon County did not immediately return a phone call seeking to learn if the three men had attorneys.

Thomas was reported missing on Monday after she didn't show up for work. Her co-workers last saw her about noon on Aug. 15.

Thomas' car was found at her residence, and officers found her purse inside. The carpet had been removed from the trunk, and officers found blood smears near a hinge on the trunk.