Teen arrested in Peoria man's murder

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Mike Watkiss

Posted on March 1, 2013 at 6:22 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 8:10 AM

Map: 75th Ave. & Thunderbird

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PEORIA, Ariz. -- Police have arrested a teenager after questioning him as a person of interest in the death of a man who was found in the garage of his Peoria home early Friday morning.

According to Peoria Police Department spokeswoman Amanda Jacinto, the man's wife discovered his body and called 911 just before 2 a.m.

The victim has since been identified as Steven Gibson, 39.

"He had some obvious signs of trauma," Jacinto said, but she declined to elaborate.

Responding officers immediately called paramedics to the scene at 75th Avenue just north of Thunderbird Road. Those paramedics pronounced the man dead.

Homicide detectives are trying to determine exactly what happened. While officers had blocked off a large portion of the neighborhood, they were not actively searching for a suspect.

"We do have one person of interest that we're currently detaining for questioning," Jacinto said Friday morning, just hours after Gibson was found. "But it's still very early on into this investigation so that's all the information we really have at this point."

According to Jacinto, the person of interest is a 16-year-old boy who returned to the home and told officers he was involved in Gibson's murder.

"At this time a motive for this murder has not been identified and detectives believe the teen may have acted alone," Jacinto said in an update to the media. She did not say how the boy and Gibson were connected.

The teen, whose name has not been released, was arrested after questioning and now faces a murder charge.

Jacinto said the victim's wife had left the home a few hours earlier.

"When she returned is when she found him," Jacinto said. "So, we have to assume he was OK a few hours before."

The couple has children, but it's not clear if they saw or heard anything, or if they were even home at the time of their father's death.

"That's part of this investigation," Jacinto said. "We're still piecing together who was where, what happened and at what time."

The investigation is ongoing and police are urging anyone with information about what happened to Gibson to contact the Peoria Police Department by one of the following methods:

• BY TEXT: Type PPD, then your message, and send to 274-637 (CRI-MES).
• Tip Phone Line: 623-773-7045
• E-mail Tips: PDTips@peoriaaz.gov (Note: e-mail is not anonymous)
• For more information on the TipSoft program, which allows for truly anonymous tips, visit www.peoriaaz.gov/police and follow the link to TipSoft.
• Or by contacting Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS (948-6377), 1-800-343-TIPS (8477) or 480-TESTIGO (837-8446). If you know anything about any of the suspects, call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS (948-6377), 1-800-343-TIPS (8477) or 480-TESTIGO (837-8446).Not only can you remain anonymous, you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if you information leads to an arrest or indictment.

 

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