On October 12, 2018, around 9:15 pm, deputies were dispatched to a reported homicide in the 9700 block of E Pronghorn Lane, Prescott Valley. The reporting party, who works at a call center on behalf of a cleaning company, stated a man who identified himself as ‘Bob Thorughbreed’ claimed he just killed his ex-wife. “Bob” needed cleaning services because “there was blood everywhere.” After a record check investigation revealed the likely identification of the ex-wife referred to in the call, the address was corrected to a home in the 9400 block of E Pronghorn Lane. The address given in the call was a vacant lot. This particular cleaning company specializes in emergency clean-up after disasters.
The response to the incident included several YCSO deputies, Prescott Valley Police Officers and fire personnel. Deputies surrounded the concerned home, peered through several windows and could not see any evidence of a disturbance or any movement in the house. In the meantime, while deputies attempted to locate the ex-wife, it was discovered the caller who reported a homicide was likely a man named Todd Thompson. Deputies also found out Thompson owns a different cleaning company similar in type to the company reporting the homicide call. The two companies are about 4 miles apart.
A short time later, deputies were able to speak to Thompson’s ex-wife by phone and determine she was safe and on her way to California with her 2 children. When she heard Thompson might be involved, she was not surprised as he had done something like this before.
Deputies met with the original reporting party who provided a recording of the conversation with their call center. During the call, a man is asking if they clean blood out of carpets, gives the name "Bob Thorughbreed,” and claims he killed his ex-wife. “Bob” states there is blood everywhere and the house is a mess. Although the phone number ID was blocked, the call taker convinced “Bob” to provide a contact number. Research of this number revealed it was the home phone for Thompson’s ex-wife. The address he gave in the call, 9700 block of Pronghorn Lane, was next door to his ex-wife’s home.
With no immediate evidence of a homicide, deputies focused their attention on locating Thompson. They went to his Prescott Valley home, but he was not there. Deputies eventually contacted Thompson by phone and explained the current circumstances. Thompson refused to meet with deputies saying he would only discuss the situation by phone.
When asked about the last time he spoke with his ex-wife, he indicated several attempts to contact their mutual children via video chat beginning around 7:30 pm. Thompson told deputies there was a court order that he could speak with his kids only by video chat, otherwise he was not to contact his ex-wife. The failure to connect with his kids was apparently frustrating.
At this point, Thompson agreed to meet with deputies at a friend’s home in Prescott Valley to ‘straighten things out.’ During the meeting, Thompson showed deputies the several attempts to reach his kids on a video chat service using his cell phone. When confronted, Thompson denied calling the cleaning service and reporting a homicide. The deputy explained there was a recording of the call and after hearing himself on the recording, Thompson admitted making the call with the following explanation:
The call was intended as a joke and Thompson did not think 911 would be contacted, noting that it is a common joke among his profession to call in fake “murders” and “disasters.” He knew the company he called was in direct competition to his and was attempting to prank them. He did confirm giving his ex-wife’s phone number as a point of contact.
Thompson was arrested and booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center on the following, charges - Aggravated Harassment Per Domestic Violence, Endangerment x3 Per Domestic Violence, Threatening and Intimidating Per Domestic Violence, Disorderly Conduct and False Reporting. He has since been released on a $25,000 bond.
YCSO will not tolerate pranks like this and although this is a rare occurrence in the county, anyone considering such actions can expect the same result suffered by Mr. Thompson.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260
or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov