Maryvale murders update: Community meeting held Wednesday night

Posted at 3:39 PM, Jul 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-07 01:18:45-04

A series of unsolved murders in Maryvale has people worried about a possible serial killer on the loose. Phoenix police aren’t ready to go that far just yet, but they are meeting with neighbors to calm fears and hopefully generate tips. 


A man who heard gunshots outside his home on June 3rd was the first to find 32-year-old Horacio De Jesus Pena gunned down in the street.

“We heard the gunshots. I was out there in less than a minute. I saw him laying right there on the side of the car,” said the witness, who did not want to be identified out of fear.

Four others have been killed since April: Twenty-one-year-old Diego Verdugo-Sanchez, 19-year-old Manuel Castro Garcia, 31-year-old Angela Linner and 12-year-old Maleah Ellis.

Police said the shootings are nearly identical in the details. All the victims were killed in front of residential homes on weekend nights. All were shot by someone in a car.

The fact that there’s no arrest in sight and no suspects has the community on edge.

“Oh yeah, people used to be outside. Now, they're not. It gets dark and everybody's inside the house,” the witness said. “I want them to catch the right person.”

A retired law enforcement expert said there will be tremendous pressure on investigators to come up with leads before anybody else gets hurt.

“The most pressure is upon the detectives themselves,” said Andy Hill, a retired Phoenix police officer who helped crack the Baseline Killer and Serial Shooters cases a decade ago. “Nobody puts more pressure on them than detectives themselves because they want to solve the case. They're the ones talking to the victims and their families.”

If you believe you have any information regarding the homicides you are urged to call 480-WITNESS. The reward is now up to $11,000.