Phoenix police looking for suspects after man burned alive

Oct 9, 2023, 1:00 PM

two victims of crime shown in Silent Witness photo...

Victims Aaron Taylor (right) and Emmett Velton are pictured. (Silent Witness photos)

(Silent Witness photos)

This article originally appeared Nov. 16, 2015.

This is a true nightmare on Christmas.

It was Dec. 25, 2007, when 36-year-old Aaron Taylor was found severely burned outside the Subway restaurant at Cactus Road and 44th Street. Investigators quickly determined Taylor had not torched himself.

“It was absolutely believed on the scene that he was set on fire by someone else,” Phoenix Police Sgt. Jamie Rothschild said.

Taylor didn’t survive his injuries. He was apparently hanging out with a group of teenage boys that he knew.

“Knowing the teens were seen running from the area leads us to believe these are very strong suspects,” Rothschild said.

He said this isn’t a case that detectives are going to give up on.

“One of the things that really sticks out about this case is that it happened on Christmas Day, but also that he was burned to death, which is an incredibly painful way to die.”

Read more about this case here.

Next, 69-year-old Emmett Velton can be seen on video arriving at his condo at Central Avenue and Encanto Boulevard just after 8 a.m. on April 24, 2011.

He had a guy with him.

“About three hours later, he was discovered in the hallway of the building with an obvious head injury,” Rothschild said.

Before Velton passed away from his injuries, he was able to give police a little information.

The man he was with was in his early 20s, average build and was carrying a tan-colored messenger bag.

He’s seen on video leaving in Velton’s SUV, which was later found near 35th and Glendale avenues.

Read more about this case here.

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Phoenix police looking for suspects after man burned alive