Grieving mom talks about strange circumstances surrounding son’s brutal murder in Phoenix

A Phoenix man was beaten to death and his grieving mother is questioning the strange circumstances surrounding the homicide.
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 6:23 PM MST|Updated: Sep. 21, 2023 at 8:11 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Jake Kelly was a kind man, with a big heart, which is why his mother, Jan Kelly, can’t understand why someone would so violently beat the 49-year-old and make him suffer. “I can’t picture it,” said Jan Kelly. “I can’t picture somebody doing that to him. It’s evil. Nobody should die like that.” Jan Kelly sat down with Arizona’s Family Wednesday to talk about her son and the bizarre circumstances surrounding his death.

The beloved restaurant worker was reportedly found unconscious by his roommates in the driveway of their north Phoenix home, off Cave Creek Road and Union Hills Drive, on Sunday Aug. 27 around 10 p.m. Jan Kelly claims that instead of calling 911, the roommates allegedly carried her son into the house, where he stayed until the next day when the roommates took Jake Kelly to a nearby hospital to be treated for skull fractures, broken ribs and a punctured lung. He died 11 days later.

“I would like to know what happened for that 10-12 hours and why 911 wasn’t called when Jake might have been saved before he suffered like that by himself,” said Jan Kelly. “It’s hard for me to think that they didn’t think it was that bad, but I am not them, so I don’t know how their thinking works.”

Arizona’s Family reached out to Phoenix police and asked if Jake’s roommates are suspects, or investigative leads in his murder. Police said the case is still under investigation. Jake’s mom isn’t ready to accuse anyone of being involved in her son’s death without the proper evidence, but she does think this may have been a hate crime because her son was gay. “As I sit here right now, I believe that’s true, that he was targeted because of his lifestyle,” said Jan Kelly.

Jake’s mom knows that nothing will bring her son back, but she wants the person responsible held accountable so what happened to Jake doesn’t happen to anyone else. “That’s exactly what hurts the most, that I can’t call him, can’t see him, we can’t discuss things about the family and movies and music,” said Jan Kelly. “You’re not supposed to outlive your children.”

If you have any information about this case, call SIlent Witness at 480-WITNESS. A reward of up to $2,000 is being offered.

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