A 29-year-old Memphis cop has been accused of kidnapping and shooting dead a 30-year-old man who went missing – while on duty.
Officer Patric Ferguson allegedly used his personal .357 Taurus revolver to force Robert Howard into the back of his squad car before fatally shooting him and disposing of the body with the help of Joshua Rogers, 28 , who was charged with aiding and abetting murder.
Memphis Police said in a statement they received a missing persons call Jan.6 at 8:30 p.m. from Howard’s girlfriend who said she was last seen around 5 p.m. Tuesday. The girlfriend used an app to locate Howard’s cell phone, which she recovered. But Howard wasn’t there.
Police said their own internal investigation led them to Ferguson, who allegedly met Howard outside a house and forced him into the team car. He then drove several blocks where he allegedly shot and killed Howard before working with Rogers to temporarily store the body. Surveillance video from a nearby facility reportedly shows Ferguson shooting in the back of his squad car.
According to an affidavit reported in local media, while on duty, Ferguson used his cell phone to research “clean up crime scenes” and “how to destroy DNA evidence”. He also allegedly bought cinder blocks, chains and padlocks with the intention of hiding the body.
A second affidavit says Ferguson recruited Rogers to help move the body and the bloody towels found in his car were used to clean up the evidence. A house search revealed Ferguson’s revolver used in the fatal shooting.
The affidavit also states that Rogers worked with Ferguson to wrap Howard’s body before temporarily moving him home. Rogers then sold the vehicle he used to transport the corpse, which was later recovered, according to the police report.
“No one is above the law,” Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings said in a statement. “To know that a Memphis police officer, someone who has taken an oath to protect and serve, has made the decision to commit this horrific crime is devastating. His actions were not those of a law enforcement officer and should not be reflected on his colleagues. “
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