Chief deputy describes trauma of ‘horrific’ murder scene in central Arizona

Sep 6, 2022, 2:00 PM | Updated: 2:47 pm
Richard Wilson, 21, poses for booking photo after his arrest on four counts of first-degree murder...
Richard Wilson (Pinal County Sheriff's Office)
(Pinal County Sheriff's Office)

PHOENIX – As investigators work to process evidence after a quadruple-murder in central Arizona, they also have to deal with the trauma of witnessing such a “horrific” crime scene, a top Pinal County deputy said Tuesday.

Richard Wilson, 21, was arrested at the scene outside Casa Grande over the weekend and booked on four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his parents, his younger sister and a 5-year-old niece.

Chief Deputy Matthew Thomas of the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday that Wilson allegedly used a knife in the attack, which occurred at a home near Rosemead Drive and Bel Air Road.

“On a day-to-day basis you see the worst of humanity, but nothing can prepare you for a murder scene, and especially when it’s at the hands of their own family members and, again, especially when you have children involved. … No human being can fathom how someone can do that to another person,” he said.

Thomas said the crime scene was the type that could be “a career ender” for members of law enforcement who responded to a 911 call from one of the victims Sunday afternoon.

“It has happened in the past where horrific scenes like this have led to people getting out of this business, because it does stay with you,” said Thomas, who joined the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office in 1993.

“And you cannot unsee the horrible things that this monster did to this family.”

Thomas said Wilson is the only suspect in the case, but the investigation at the complex crime scene was taking time to complete.

Authorities aren’t revealing information about a motive while the case is active.

“It’s going to be a while before everything is solidified and known for sure,” Thomas said.

Sheriff’s officials said Rudy Wilson, 16, made a frantic 911 call around 1:45 p.m. Sunday to say her brother beat up their parents and young niece before the call was disconnected.

When sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene, they noticed a man later identified as the suspect who was leaving a fifth-wheel trailer outside the home.

They said he had injuries to his right hand with bloody clothing and shoes found inside the trailer.

“I’m over here. Take me to jail,” Wilson said, according to court documents.

Asked if anyone was inside the home, Wilson reportedly told deputies to “go check,” and that’s when the four victims were found dead.

“This act of depraved violence will have long-lasting effects on all those who knew this family,” Sheriff Mark Lamb said in a statement Monday. “While nothing will bring their loved ones back, I send my prayers and support to everyone affected.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Chief deputy describes trauma of ‘horrific’ murder scene in central Arizona