Authorities say a man was murdered by a teen he met through a cell phone application and took to his home last weekend.

Phoenix Police Det. James Holmes said officers responded to a residence in the area of 40th Street and Greenway Road around midnight Sunday after a resident returned home to find his apartment ransacked.

When officers went inside to check they found a downstairs bathroom door closed and the lights on inside, according to Holmes. They did not get an answer to a knock on the door.

Holmes said when officers looked under the door they could see a body on the floor and when they forced the door open found the victim badly beaten. He also appeared to have been stabbed repeatedly, Holmes said.

Phoenix firefighters were called to the home and the victim, 54-year-old Mark Woodland, was pronounced dead.

Woodland’s roommate reported he had received a text message from the victim around 5 p.m. saying he was going to pick up a male date, whom he met on a social networking application, and bring him home.

Woodland apparently asked his roommate to not be at home.

The victim reportedly sent a second text at around 6 p.m. to ensure that his roommate had left the apartment.

The roommate left and returned around 11 p.m. to find the home ransacked.

“It was like a scene out of a movie,” Holmes said. “The roomate did the right thing calling police.”

Holmes said officers were able to locate a friend of the victim in California who reported Woodland had met his date through a “social network” and the friend provided the male’s user name. Officials have not identified the social networking application the men used.

During the investigation, a witness reported seeing Woodland walking upstairs with a white male, approximately 18 years old, around 8:30 p.m.

Officers also saw that Woodland’s wallet was open and empty in the living room area of the home.

On Tuesday, detectives were able to locate the suspect in the area of 32nd Street and Broadway Road and when detectives contacted three males at the house, one of them apparently fit the suspect description.

Tommy Reed, whose telephone was determined to be the same phone used to arrange the date with the victim, was transported to police headquarters for an interview.

Holmes said Reed, 19, gave details about the night of the murder that implicated him in the crime.

Reed was later booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on one count of 2nd Degree Murder.

Holmes said robbery may have been a motive for the murder.


“It goes to show how dangerous the Internet can be,” Holmes said. “Never bring a stranger to your house alone.”

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