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3 women arrested for tampering, hindering Avondale homicide investigation tied to 8 other murders

Posted at 2:09 PM, Jan 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-18 19:31:00-05

Three women were arrested in connection with a homicide linked to several others around the Valley in late 2017.

RELATED: Suspect believed to be tied to 9 Valley homicides in three-week period

According to a probable cause statement from Avondale police, Jesus Real was found dead in an apartment near 4th Street and Harrison Drive around 3:30 p.m. on December 11. 

Officers found the victim with two gunshot wounds to the face, and say it's believed he was shot at close range while sleeping. No one else was home at the time of the shooting.

Real lived in the apartment with his sisters and their children. One of his sisters had been dating Cleophus Cooksey and had broken up with him the night before. Cooksey, who has just been linked to nine murders over a three-week span in December, reportedly stayed with the family at the apartment several nights a week. 

Detectives learned that Real's cell phone was missing from the scene and shell casings were not located there, indicating that the scene was tampered with before police arrived. 

Three days later, the victim's cell phone was tracked to an Avondale motel in the possession of Real's sisters. The phone and their vehicle were taken in as evidence. 

Cooksey’s girlfriend Liliana Vasquez, her sister Griselda Vasquez, and Desaree Coronado, the mother of Real's child, were all arrested on charges of tampering and hindering the homicide investigation.

Further investigation found that the firearm used in Real's death was stolen from a murder victim prior to this incident. It was also used in later homicides now linked to Cooksey. 

Liliana Vasquez's vehicle was also found to have been in the area of two of the crimes. Police believe she may have given Cooksey a ride to or from those areas. 

After Cooksey was arrested Dec. 17 in connection with the deaths of his mother and stepfather, a detective reportedly asked Cooksey if he was aware of the Real homicide. He reportedly answered, "yeah there was a, something happened. Um. Yeah, I remember." He also said, "I don't remember much but um, somebody guys never found anybody." 

On Thursday, detectives in Cooksey's case added seven additional counts of homicide, seven counts of prohibited possessor of a firearm, one count of sexually motivated kidnapping, one count of firearm theft, and one count of armed robbery with a deadly weapon.