TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - In a modest Chandler apartment complex, a bold and heinous crime. Martin Alejandro Cota-Monroy was stabbed several times and had his head cut off.
"All those scary movies you see people get decapitated, so you have those images in your head. So, it really was disgusting," said Cota Monroy's neighbor, Karen Belloso.
During the Arizona gubernatorial debate, Governor Jan Brewer was grilled by her opponent, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, as well as members of the media for floating rumors of beheadings. But, now, talk of Arizona beheadings is a reality.
But, the reason behind the vicious Sunday, October 10th murder remains a mystery. Chandler police held on to the gory details until now, citing an ongoing investigation, "The victim in the case is a Phoenix resident who may have been involved in drug trafficking and may have stolen drugs or money from a drug dealer. We have no confirmation whether it is a drug cartel, but our investigators are following leads that this possibly could be drug cartel related," said Chandler Police Department Detective Frank Mendoza.
Other law enforcement officials, like Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada, tell us this raises a red flag because the gruesome crime is so atypical, "There is a difference between drug violence and cartel violence, it's an important distinction. So,in your expert opinion, when a drug deal goes bad, if someone is dealing pot on the street, let's say, does it typically end up in a beheading scenario?"KGUN9's Joel Waldman asked. "No, definitely not. Not that I know or have heard or seen anywhere else," said Sheriff Estrada.
But, now Chandler, Arizona has the dubious distinction for being known as a place where a beheading has happened on U.S. soil. The good news, there was one arrest in the case, Crisantos Moroyoqui. Chandler Police say they're looking for three other men who all came from California. Cops captured some surveillance video stills of who they believe they're looking for in this case.
"I'm hoping it's not a cartel hit because it could be, unfortunate, the beginning of something that may be a trend," concluded Sheriff Estrada.
So far, he drug cartel wars have claimed more than 30,000 lives, just since 2006. And, from what we've seen in the last week, the violence in Mexico seems to getting even worse.
Yesterday, 9 police officers were killed after being ambushed in a town near Guadalajara. The day before, in the Mexican town of Tepic, 15 people were murdered at a car wash. A few days earlier, on Sunday,13 recovering drug addicts were murdered in a Tijuana rehab center. And, on Saturday, 14 children and teens were gunned down at a party in Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas.
Click to view image: 'Pic 1'
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