Authorities say a Phoenix father confessed to murdering his 13-year-old son with an axe because he believed his son was a demon and was going to try and eat him.
Gary Sherrill, 51, was arrested on New Year’s Eve on a charge of first-degree murder.
Sherrill’s ex-wife called police on Tuesday after her ex-husband failed to return their 13-year-old son David following a visitation. She told police Sherrill had picked up their son Monday and said she was now unable to reach either of them.
Police say Sherrill and his ex-wife shared custody of the 13-year-old boy.
When police made contact with Sherrill at his apartment, he indicated that his son was not there. Eventually, authorities say Sherrill allowed officers into his apartment. Once inside, investigators said they located the 13-year-old boy’s dead body.
“Sadly, the victim sustained stab wounds and lacerations to several parts of his body,” Sgt. Steve Martos of the Phoenix Police Department said in a press release.
During police questioning, investigators allege Sherrill confessed to the murder and stated he was scared of his son.
“…He was scared of his son and believed his son was a demon and was going to eat him,” the press release stated.
HLN affiliate KNXV-TV reported some of Sherrill’s neighbors said he had been acting strange lately.
“He had been screaming at a tree the other day,” Davina West said, according to KNXV-TV.
Sherrill is currently being held at the Maricopa County Jail.
The Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office told HLN Sherrill has not been assigned an attorney yet.