SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. -- A southern Arizona man strangled his roommate, stuffed the body in a suitcase in a closet and hosted a barbeque for two other people the next day at the apartment, police said.
Keith Allen White, 50, was arrested Monday on suspicion of second-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the death of Brian Cook on Sunday, police said.
The body remained hidden in the suitcase when White hosted the barbeque at the Sierra Vista home attended by a relative of Cook, police Sgt. Sean Brownson told The Sierra Vista Herald.
“The relative came over for the barbecue, not knowing where (Cook) was. The whole time, he was dead in the closet with the door closed,” Brownson said.
White remained jailed Tuesday after making an initial court appearance. It could not be immediately determined whether he has an attorney who could comment on the allegations.
Brownson said White confessed the killing to the relative, who called police after White fell asleep.
When the officers arrived, White had the “windows down and a fan blowing the odor of human decomposition out of the apartment,” Brownson said.
Brownson, who interviewed White, said White spoke openly about what he had done.
“He kept calling it a ‘faux pas,’” Brownson said.
White allegedly told detectives he had become angry and strangled Cook during an argument several days prior, reports CBS affiliate KOLD. Police say he confessed to hiding the body in the closet.
Officers saw “significant” blood trails leading from the closet into the living room, where the suitcase was near the front door, the Police Department said in a statement.
White “had been preparing to dispose of the body” when police arrived, the statement added.