PHOENIX - Police continue to track down leads and serve search warrants in the investigation of a 6-year-old boy who was found dead in an alley near his West Phoenix home a day after his father was allegedly murdered.
Police say the two were clearly targeted.
"We don't know the motive," said Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump.
Police identified the boy as 6-year-old Xavier Jaquez. He was found Tuesday morning near 67th Avenue and Indian School Road fully dressed in an alley behind his house and across the street from his school.
Police found Xavier's father, 27-year old Angel Jaquez dead at his home near 27th Street and Broadway Road Monday. Police say he was shot to death and the boy died in a "similar manner".
"It is heartbreaking and frustrating," said Dena Freeman, who volunteers at the school and knew the boy. "He seemed no different than any other kid."
"He was a happy little kid," said Freddy Palma, who lives next door to the boy's mother.
Crump said that the father and mother had custody arrangements worked out, and that no one reported the boy missing.
He did say that the father had prior arrests, but could not give specifics or say if they may have had anything to do with the pair's deaths.
ABC15 found court records showing Angel Jaquez was on probation and ordered to take parenting classes, after pleading guilty to solicitation to possess marijuana for sale.
Crump said that the 6-year-old does have a sibling. He said the family had not requested protection and didn't think that there was imminent danger of another murder.
Family at the boy's home would not speak to ABC15. Other relatives at another location also refused to comment.
Crump said at this point they believe that the boy was murdered in the alley rather than dumped there.
Xavier's death left his classmates heartbroken, their parents terrified.
"They don't understand, but they couldn't sleep because of what happened yesterday, because the school is the one that told them," said Myriam Mendivil, whose children came home with a letter from the school.
"We have like 12 kids in this house all the time, so something might have happened to them," said Palma. "They might have confused the little kid for one of our kids here."
But while parents expressed concern for their kids' safety, Crump said the violence was not random.
"We're still confident in saying that we believe that the kids in that neighborhood are safe, that we have a focus in this investigation," he said.
Even if the boy and his father were specifically targeted, Freeman said it is bizarre that no one saw anything.
"There are always so many people around here and his house is right across the street," she said. "I've never seen kids going into the alley or playing in the alley, or even looking down the alley."
Crump said six or seven people were questioned Tuesday night but no arrests have been made.
Police say Xavier went to Holiday Park School where a meeting was held Tuesday night to discuss the investigation. Grief counselors were expected to be on hand for staff and students Wednesday.
Police said Tuesday that there were obvious signs of trauma on the Xavier's body. A fire official said it appeared the boy had been dead for some time.
"It's pretty scary stuff," said Palma. "This is kind of hard. I wish no parent has to go through stuff like this, because it's very devastating for a parent."
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