Detectives believe 2nd suspect involved in El Mirage murder

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Patricia Ann Cota By Jennifer Thomas Patricia Ann Cota By Jennifer Thomas
Jesus Tober By Christina O'Haver Jesus Tober By Christina O'Haver
Patricia Ann Cota's father and daughters By Jennifer Thomas Patricia Ann Cota's father and daughters By Jennifer Thomas
Patricia Ann Cota and daughters By Jennifer Thomas Patricia Ann Cota and daughters By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

EL MIRAGE, Ariz. -- The father of a woman murdered eight months ago is speaking out after new evidence shows someone else may have been with the man who was arrested for the crime.

A Silent Witness flier went out last week, requesting information from the public.

Although the main suspect is already in jail, detectives now believe someone else was there.

Patricia Ann Cota, 24, was found in an alley near Thunderbird Road and Luna Street in El Mirage the morning of Jan. 31. Police said she had been strangled.

Police said Cota and her boyfriend, Jesus Tober, were seen together in front of or around the vacant property near the alley several hours before the homicide.

Tober, 33, was arrested and charged with murder. He has pleaded not guilty but remains in jail.

Detectives now believe somebody was with him before, during or after the homicide.

Cota's father wasn't surprised when he got the news.

"In my heart I knew this thug couldn't do it on his own," George Cota Jr. said.

Patricia had two daughters who are now 2 and 5 years old and are being cared for by her parents.

"I let the girls know every day about their mom, every Sunday we go to the gravesite just like when we could see her alive, every Sunday, no matter what, every Sunday," Cota said.

"I am here today to reach out to the community of El Mirage, asking if anyone has any information, no matter how minute, please, please come forward," he said. "My family and Patricia's little baby girls deserve justice."

"This is a small community and we believe that somebody had to have seen something," said Sgt. Annita Boynton with the El Mirage Police Department. "The fight between Jesus and Patricia started out in front of the vacant property so we believe there are other witnesses."

Detectives are asking anyone with any information to call the El Mirage Police Department or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS. Callers may remain anonymous.

A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered in the case.

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