SILENT WITNESS

Phoenix police looking for suspects in 2012 death of young man at club

Mar 25, 2024, 1:00 PM

David Santiago was killed after partying at a club in 2012.(Silent Witness and Pexels photos)...

David Santiago was killed after partying at a club in 2012.(Silent Witness and Pexels photos)

(Silent Witness and Pexels photos)

This article originally appeared April 25, 2016.

PHOENIX — It’s been over 11 years since a Valley mom has tried to piece together who killed her son while he was out partying at a club.

Kim Peterson said her son, 22-year-old David Santiago, was 100% into skateboarding.

Peterson said Santiago was so good at the sport that he had sponsors looking at him.

Here’s what police believe led up to Santiago’s death

Santiago was at a club called The Stratus around 1 a.m. Sunday on Nov. 25, 2012.

It’s in an industrial area near The Stack, located at Interstate 17 and McDowell Road. The club played electronic music and hosts large parties.

Phoenix Police cold case Detective J.J. Alberta said there were as many as 1,500 people at the club that night.

“Witnesses saw [Santiago] arguing with at least two men and possibly a woman,” Alberta said. “One suspect hit [Santiago] in the face and knocked him down. A second suspect stomped on his head once or twice.”

Santiago died 10 days later.

His mother said Santiago wasn’t someone to pick a fight.

“He hated people that argue and fight, so he was always trying to make them in a better mood,” she said. “He was always helping out elderly people with housework or yard stuff.”

Santiago was the baby of the family and a total mama’s boy. Kim laughs that she never thought he’d move out and that he’d probably get married and bring his wife home to live with her, too.

She wants his killers caught.

“Even if it was an accident, they need to be brought to justice,” Peterson said. “But, I don’t see it being an accident when you beat a man to death.”

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Phoenix police looking for suspects in 2012 death of young man at club