Lola Pershall's Death Ruled a Homicide; Cops Would Like to Speak to Her Grandson About Her Death

The death of 88-year-old Mesa resident Lola Pershall has been ruled a homicide, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

MCSO spokesman Jeff Sprong tells New Times the details of Pershall's death are not being released at this time.

The sheriff's office called it a "suspicious death investigation" when her body was found last week, while her car and grandson, Reginald Gardner Jr., were both missing.

Pershall's car was found in Houston on Thursday -- the day after deputies conducted a welfare check on her home and found her body in "stages of decomposition" -- but Gardner, who lived with his grandmother, has not yet been found.

The sheriff's office said last week that detectives were looking for Gardner, only to "confirm his safety," but now add that investigators would like to talk to him about his grandmother's death.

If you see Gardner, the sheriff's office now says that you should "NOT to attempt to contact or follow [him]."

The reasoning for that was not made available. From what we could tell from court records, the only documentation on Gardner is a 2006 arrest on suspicion of aggravated DUI.

Media reports around the Houston area say the local FBI office forwarded along the information from the MCSO about Gardner, as no one's had contact with him for an "unknown amount of time."

Detectives don't yet know whether Gardner's in Phoenix or Houston -- or elsewhere -- but Sprong says the information is being sent around Houston since that's where Pershall's car was found.

Gardner's described as being about 5-foot-10, 195 pounds, and has psoriasis, which causes flaking skin, according to the sheriff's office.

The new photos released by the MCSO are from stores in the Phoenix area, captured before Pershall's body was discovered on Wednesday.

Investigators haven't revealed how long Pershall was dead before being found in "stages of decomposition."

The sheriff's office asks that you phone up Detective Acosta if you know anything about the case, or where Gardner is: 602-876-1011.

Previously: "Mesa Woman Found Dead in Her Home. 'Unclear' if It's a Homicide, but Her Car's in Texas, and Her Grandson's Missing"

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley