The Queen Creek Police Department has identified multiple persons of interest in the homicide investigation of an assault that led to the death of 16-yeard-old Preston Lord of San Tan Valley that took place on Oct. 28 near 194th St. and Via Del Rancho.
“We are committed to finding justice for Preston. Our Investigators are determined and dedicated to solving this case,” stated QCPD Chief Brice stated. “However, we want more than just an arrest. We want to ensure that those involved are convicted of the crime.”
In addition to receiving hundreds of tips, the investigation has included extensive interviews, warrants, and court orders. Since the incident occurred, a significant amount of data has been processed and analyzed, the release stated. As the search warrants and court orders continue to be executed, substantial amounts of additional data must be reviewed to identify possible items of evidence that further corroborate the investigative leads, according to the release.
“QCPD continues to work on balancing the need for prompt results while ensuring a thorough investigation. With the amount of data that is being processed and analyzed, QCPD continues to utilize other local law enforcement agencies, including the Phoenix Field Office of the FBI,” the release stated, “In addition to the analysis support, QCPD has partnered with the FBI to provide another tipline and a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and/or conviction of those involved.”
While the FBI is assisting with resources, QCPD remains the law enforcement entity handling the investigation.
“Parents, we are asking you to talk to your kids. If they have direct evidence related to this case, we need you to come forward,” Brice stated. “For those who attended this party or saw the incident, if you are being threatened or you are scared to say something, please talk to your parents or someone you trust. Do the right thing and help us bring justice for Preston and his family.”
Lord was a student at Combs High School in San Tan Valley. A vigil was held for the teen at the school in Pinal County on Nov. 9.
Photos or video evidence can be submitted to www.fbi.gov/prestonlord. The FBI's Toll-Free tipline is available at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).
The homicide investigation is continuing to move forward and ensuring that all physical evidence is collected will ultimately lead to the arrest and conviction of those criminally responsible, according to the release.
The incident occurred on Oct. 28, at 9:07 p.m. QCPD received a call to the non-emergency line regarding a juvenile disturbance in the area of Via del Oro and 194th St. Officers responded to the area and located a number of juveniles leaving the area; no illegal activity was observed.
Within a few minutes, the officers on scene were diverted to a high-priority call with a potential crime in progress. At 9:49 p.m. QCPD received a 911 call in regards to an assault in the area of 194th St. and Via Del Rancho. Officers arrived on scene in approximately three minutes. QCPD discovered a juvenile victim in the roadway; he was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. On Monday, Oct. 30, he died in the hospital.
This is the first homicide case the Queen Creek Police has undertaken since launching in 2022, officially taking over law enforcement duties from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
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