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Phoenix police looking for information about murders in 1998, 2001

Macarthur Brookins, who was killed in Phoenix in June 2001. (Phoenix Police Photo)

Two cold cases involving murder that happened in homes just blocks away from each other, three years apart.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Jamie Rothschild says, “Even though this case is colder, we still need the public to help us.”

The first is the killing of 49-year-old Erasmo Espericueta Sober.

Sgt. Rothschild says Erasmo’s brother made the awful discovery of his body on Sunday, Sept. 13, 1998, at his home near 22nd Street and Southern Avenue.

“He was a family guy. He was married at the time with four sons and two daughters,” Rothschild says.

“He was very well-liked by his neighbors who called him ‘Papa’. He had family in the area and worked in the area.”

Learn more about the case here.


Next, a double murder at a home near 17th street and Southern Avenue. It happened sometime between Saturday, June 2, and Tuesday, June 5, 2001.

Rothschild says 72-year-old Theodore Chappell and 55-year-old Macarthur Brookins were both found dead.

“Theodore Chappell was known as the guy in the neighborhood who took people in when they needed a place to stay.  In this case, he had taken Mr. Brookins in,” Rothschild says.

Both men had family in the area, and nobody, so far, seems to know why this happened.

Detectives aren’t giving up on bringing their killer to justice.

“It’s possible someone in the neighborhood just assumed this case had been solved or assumed that police already have the information, but that information is just as important today as it was in 2001,” says Rothschild.

Learn more about the case here.

Arizona's Morning News

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