A “pen pal” relationship with a
prisoner ended in death by asphyxiation and burial inside of a large
concrete “egg” for an 80-year-old gay man in California.
Thomas Jeffrey Brooks, 39, of San Diego
has confessed to the killing of Edward Clayton Andrews, who lived in
Hemet, a Riverside County community.
Brooks pled not guilty to a charge of
murder on November 3. A January 29 preliminary hearing will
determine whether there is enough evidence to prosecute Brooks.
Andrews was last seen at his home on
May 31 and reported missing on June 1 by family members who noticed
his gray Saturn Ion missing from his trailer home on the 4200 block
of Florida Avenue, while his cat was left behind.
Investigators say Andrews had been one
of Brooks' “pen pals” while serving a four-year sentence in a
federal prison in Victorville on child pornography charges. Upon
leaving jail, Brooks bee-lined it to his pen pal's trailer, failing
to report to a halfway house, and the two developed a romantic
Police arrested Brooks on August 8 at a
San Diego 15th Street apartment and he was arraigned in
Riverside sheriff's investigators later
found that over $90,000 had been drained from the senior's bank
account. One of Andrew's neighbors said he had received a letter
purportedly written by the victim letting him know that he had gone
on vacation with Brooks to Europe and South Africa.
Meanwhile, in San Diego, several
boarders sharing a house on Alabama Street made a ghastly discovery
in September when they cracked into a large concrete “egg,”
sculpted by Brooks as the centerpiece of a backyard rock garden, to
find a human foot accompanied by the dank stench of a decomposing
Brooks allegedly asphyxiated Andrews,
wrapped him in a blanket and plastic tarp, secured by duct tape and
chicken wire, then entombed his remains in the concrete “egg.”
The roommates said they opened the
concrete tomb because they had read reports about Brooks and believed
he might have stashed some of the missing money in the concrete “egg”
he had created for their landlord.
Prosecutors have the option of seeking
the death penalty against Brooks.