People.com reports that a man who has been in custody since December 17 for the murder of his mother and stepfather may have been responsible for at least seven others.
Cleophus Cooksey Jr., 35, is now a suspected serial killer by authorities after connecting him to seven additional murders in less than a month’s time of research. On December 17, Rene Cooksey, 56, his mother, and Edward Nunn, 54, his stepfather, were fatally shot.
Authorities also believe Cooksey fatally shot Andrew Remillard and Parker Gregory Smith on November 27, as well as Salim Richards, who was killed five days after. Other killings his is suspected of include the December 11 shooting of Jesus Bonifacio Real, his ex-girlfriend’s brother; LaTorrie Beckford on December 13; and Kris Cameron December 15.
Cooksey also allegedly murdered Maria Villanueva the day before shooting his mother and stepfather on December 16. He first abducted her in Glendale, Arizona, according to police.
Police further believe these killings were all committed at random without motive. Cooksey is currently in custody without bail. He does not have an attorney of record, and has not entered pleas in court in response to any of the possible first-degree murder charges against him.
Cooksey formerly spent several years in prison for manslaughter and has been arrested several times since. Ballistics testing on a gun belonging to Cooksey connected him to all the killings. There are still other unsolved murders being investigated to see if Cooksey may be responsible.
Official charges against Cooksey will be announced in the coming weeks, but he was indicted last month on one count of possession of a weapon by a prohibited person and two counts of first-degree murder, according to court records.
Cooksey is the second suspected serial killer to be arrested in the Phoenix area in the last 12 months.
*Photo credit Arizona Department of Corrections