Crime

Speculation Swirls Over Murder Of Elderly Sex Offender

| by Sheena Vasani
Fred's Automotive and Machine ShopFred's Automotive and Machine Shop

An elderly registered sex offender, described by neighbors as a "good man" was found dead on June 7, causing some to speculate if this was a revenge attack.

Authorities say they discovered the body of 73-year-old Reginald Locke in a Phoenix machine shop after he was reported missing on June 6, KPNX reports.

“The victim was restrained with signs of trauma to his body,” said Sgt. Vince Lewis.

"The fire department responded and saw what they had and knew they had a crime scene," Lewis added, reports AZCentral. "He was bound. The goal of the investigation is to identify the suspect and bring him to justice."

Locke lived in a part of Fred's Automotive and Machine Shop that had been converted into living quarters. 

Neighbors were alarmed by the incident that happened so close by.

"It’s very bad, and it’s disturbing really, because I’m literally right next door," said neighbor Aaren Shivers.

Police are now searching for both motives and suspects. When authorities investigated Locke’s criminal history, they discovered he had been arrested in 2002 for attempting to molest a child. He was convicted and served eight years in prison.

For neighbors, this information contrasts with the Locke they’ve come to now know.

Shivers and his wife, Irene Piper, described the man as generous.

“Less than 24 hours from today, I just saw the man working on his car and helping some other unfortunate people," Shivers said, adding he did not see anything suspicious hours before the murder.

"He was an [73]-year-old man that didn't mind helping out the homeless," Piper added. "He didn't have to do that at his age. He was a sweet man. It was very senseless."

Piper told AZCentral how Locke had recently helped her out by buying her daughter a birthday cake.

"They just bought this cake yesterday, because I couldn’t afford to get a cake,” she said.

Sources: KPNX, AZCentral / Photo credit: Adrian Hedden/The Republic via AZCentral

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