APD investigating missing 52-year-old man found murdered in Belen

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A missing person case has turned into a murder investigation for Albuquerque police.

Police say a man’s body was found inside of a car that was set on fire in Belen. Now, multiple agencies are trying to figure out how this all happened.

Workers at a towing company were the ones who found the body. KOB 4 was told the car was brought to them to be stored.

When they were inspecting the charred vehicle, that’s when they made the gruesome discovery of a body.

Michael Yarbrough was reported missing on Dec. 21st in Albuquerque. But what investigators just learned was Yarbrough was found dead nearly a month earlier inside a car that was set on fire 30 miles away in Belen.

Albuquerque police told KOB 4 in the beginning of December that authorities were called to a vehicle fire along I-25 in Belen. And at the time they had no idea Yarbrough was in the trunk as it was towed away.

KOB 4 was able to confirm the car was taken to Highway 47 towing, just northeast of Belen. When workers were examining the car, they noticed the trunk was jammed. So they had to go inside and put down the backseats and that’s when they were shocked to find the victim’s body.

After the towing company says they called police, the car was then taken by authorities where it will undergo further examination by investigators.

When KOB 4 looked into Yarbrough’s history, online court records show he has been charged multiple times for aggravated battery and assault. There are still plenty of unanswered questions in this case.

KOB 4 reached out to Belen police for comment but have not heard back. However, the investigation into the car will continue this week, hopefully leading to some answers.