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Suspected serial killer linked to nine deaths, Arizona police say

Phoenix police have finally arrested a serial killer who is believed to be linked to the murders of nine people in the past three weeks. If proven, this will make him the most prolific serial killer in the history of Arizona.

35-year-old Cleophus Cooksey Jr. was arrested on December 17, 2017. Police officers received a call reporting gunshots in Phoenix. When the police arrived at the scene they found Cooksey’s mother and stepfather dead in their home. In the beginning, the police officers did not link Cooksey to the other killings until he was in custody. A few weeks later, the usage of new technology in the investigation helped the officers uncover more evidence from previous cases and link them to the suspect. Cooksey’s other alleged victims are the brother of his ex-girlfriend and several other people of black, white and Hispanic race and ethnicities.

Here is the list of victims known to the police at the moment:

  • Andrew Remillard, 27, and Parker Smith, 21 who were killed on November 27.
  • Salim Richards, 35, found wounded by a handgun as a result of a robbery on December 2 and later died. Police are unaware if Cooksey knew the victim.
  • Jesus Bonifacio Real, 25, brother of Cooksey’s former girlfriend, murdered on December 11
  • Latorrie Beckford, 29, shot and killed on December 13
  • Kristopher Cameron, 21, shot to death in a field. Suspected in a drug deal with the murderer. 
  • Maria Villanueva, 43, was found dead with signs of sexually assault. 
  • Rene Cooksey, 56, the suspects mother and Edward Nunn, his stepfather, 54, were shot on December 17. Cooksey was arrested on the same day. 

Cooksey has a rich criminal history. He was twice in prison for manslaughter, assaulting prison employees, drug possession, and fighting. 

Authorities believe that Cooksey might have been involved in other murders too. Investigation continues.

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