Rachel Mitchell updates public on Preston Lord murder investigation, tells reporters to be patient

Jan 24, 2024, 6:15 PM | Updated: Jan 25, 2024, 10:13 am

Preston Lord murder investigation...

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell acknowledged public dissatisfaction during a Wednesday press conference. (MCAO Photo/via Facebook)

(MCAO Photo/via Facebook)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said Wednesday she wants the public to understand the “monumental task” prosecutors face while looking over the Preston Lord murder investigation.

“My attorneys, they contact directly with the police and detectives on this. I am briefed daily,” Mitchell said. “We have one chance to get it right.”

She added that her team is going over a 2,000-page police report the Queen Creek Police Department submitted on Dec. 28. QCPD also submitted charges against seven suspects in Preston Lord’s murder investigation. However, there have been no arrests and officials haven’t told the public which charges were submitted.

“There are suspects out there who murdered Preston Lord and they are out there,” ABC15 reporter Nicole Grigg said during the press conference. “Why have there been no charges? There are murderers out on the street right now.”

Where is the Preston Lord murder investigation now?

Youth violence has rocked the East Valley over the past few months. A group of teens known as the “Gilbert Goons” is infamous for committing random, blitz-style assaults against minors across the East Valley. They’re also known for posting videos of the crimes to social media and threatening their victims into staying silent.

Mitchell said she hasn’t been able to make a concrete connection between the gang and Lord’s death, but she confirmed it came up in her investigation.

She added that her team has hours of videos to review but that they’re working “very quickly” to get their investigation done and give the community answers.

However, it won’t be instantaneous. The community will have to trust the attorneys who are methodically pouring over the Preston Lord murder investigation, she said.

“It may not be very satisfying that it’s not being done like that,” she said, snapping her fingers. “I’m not in a situation where I can just lock them up and hope the evidence comes together.”

Acknowledging community frustration

One reporter asked Mitchell what she would say to teenagers who live in fear of the Gilbert Goons.

“What I would say is this: it will do you no good if we go so fast that we don’t do it well. The police are listening, the police are taking reports on this,” Mitchell said.

She encouraged the community to have faith in the system.

“They can be confident we are working this case,” Mitchell said.

We want to hear from you.

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Rachel Mitchell updates public on Preston Lord murder investigation, tells reporters to be patient