Arrested Development

Heard about the 29-year-old sex offender who posed as a seventh-grader? Here's how the sordid case was broken

E-mails, pictures, videos.

Also, there were boxes of DVDs and videos next to a television in Casey's room. Diskin discovered that Stiffler and Snow had purchased a flat-screen television, computer, and PlayStation for Casey.

It didn't take too much detective work for the cops to know to check the home's video collection: There was a porno playing on the living-room TV when they entered.

Fred Harper
Yavapai County Sheriff Steve Waugh presents a "Certificate of Appreciation" to Julie Bradshaw, left, and two others at the Mingus Springs school for helping unravel the Rodreick case.
AP/Wide World Photos
Yavapai County Sheriff Steve Waugh presents a "Certificate of Appreciation" to Julie Bradshaw, left, and two others at the Mingus Springs school for helping unravel the Rodreick case.

Diskin's hunch about finding incriminating images in the home proved correct.

What he didn't realize at the time, though, is just how painful it can be for officers to view what sexual predators find pleasurable.


Officers agreed it was time to turn up the heat on the suspects. Huante and Diskin confronted Stiffler, telling him his story didn't make any sense. Diskin told Stiffler he believed there was "more to the story." There's a reason you went to Oklahoma with a convicted sex offender to pick up a child, Diskin told Stiffler.

Huante and Diskin then left the room to let Stiffler stew. They went back to Snow to confront him.

They asked Snow about his sexual relationship with Casey.

After some prodding, Snow finally admitted to an ongoing sexual relationship with Casey. He admitted that the reason he and Stiffler had gone to Oklahoma to bring Casey to Arizona was to have sex with him. Snow said he knew Casey was only 12 years old. He admitted to having a sexual attraction to children.

Snow admitted that he saw e-mails from Casey with photos of Casey "naked with his brothers."

But they were e-mails to Stiffler, Snow said. And Snow said that though he never looked at child porn on the computer, he had witnessed Stiffler viewing porn several times.

The men were beginning to turn on each other.

Still believing Casey was a minor, Diskin and Huante had Snow detail the sex acts he engaged in with Casey.

Diskin did not detail Snow's answers in his police report. By the time he wrote it, he knew what he didn't know at the time — that the sex was actually between two legal adults.


In another room, Detective Mike Poling was questioning the person he thought was 12-year-old Casey Price. Casey continued to look down at the floor, and said little.

Casey then stood up and asked Deputy Boan, whom he had talked to earlier and who had begun the investigation with a visit to the school, if he could speak with him outside.

Boan, too, still thought he was talking to 12-year-old Casey.

Once outside, Casey told Boan that the other detectives inside were making him nervous. Boan promised Casey that he would do everything in his power to ensure that he would be safe.

Casey said he also felt uncomfortable with Robert Snow being in the house. Casey told Boan that Robert "acts gay" around him and creeps him out.

Casey then told Boan that he had twice awakened with his underwear down. He suspected that Snow had sodomized him, because Snow would make him sit on his lap while Snow touched himself. Casey said he takes medication that makes him sleepy and that Snow might have "done stuff" to him while he was passed out.

"Casey insisted that nothing else was going on and he felt safe in the house," Boan wrote in a later police report.

Child Protective Services was called as officers learned that they had an abused child on their hands.

Boan directed Casey to an unmarked police car to wait for CPS caseworkers to arrive.


After talking to Snow, Diskin walked into the room with Lonnie Stiffler and announced:

"Robert told us everything."

Stiffler admitted to seeing the e-mailed photos of Casey naked.

Finally, Stiffler admitted to having sex with Casey.

But it was only three times, he said. And he hadn't had sex with Casey in more than two months.

At this point, detectives believed they had a theory as to what was happening here: Two men, Robert Snow and Lonnie Stiffler, had lured a boy from Oklahoma to turn into their personal sex toy.

But what about this other guy in the house, 34-year-old Brian Nellis?

Sergeant Huante began questioning Nellis, whom Stiffler had first claimed was the older of his two grandsons and Casey's cousin.

After the long interview with Nellis, the reality of the situation came into sharper focus for the detectives.

And it got a lot more complicated.

Nellis first told Huante that he had met Casey when the boy was 8 or 9 years old. Nellis said Casey's father, Neil Rodreick Sr., used to give him rides to college in Oklahoma. One day, he said, Rodreick came to him and asked if he could watch Casey. Casey's dad never came back.

Nellis admitted that he also was a convicted sex offender.

Nellis said Casey moved out of his home in El Mirage in 2004, leaving an e-mail that he had moved in with Snow and Stiffler.

Nellis explained that his criminal conviction was for committing lewd acts with a 7-year-old.

Huante told Nellis that both Stiffler and Snow had admitted to having sex with Casey.

Nellis said he had no knowledge of that. If he had known, he said, he would have done something about it. He had learned his lesson in prison, he said. When he sees child-pornography stories, he said, "it tears me up."

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18 comments
Nat
Nat

sembour, well youv'e been dealt with, you sound like a complete idiot and probably a sexual offender yourself, too bad i don't know where you are to drop a dime on you. this is such a sad, pathetic story of how sexual perversion has absolutely corrupted people's lives. but i don't feel sorry for any of them. They should be behind bars or under surveillance for the rest of their lives. These men thought they had a 12 year old boy and what they would do if they did,i can't even imagine a night in that household, why do we even waste tax dollars giving these creeps a trial!

Concerned
Concerned

I would say an individual who are quick to judge needs to watch themselves. In addition, I agree with Toni and the comments made for many of you show ignorance. Now I am not calling you stupid, but that you have a lack of knowledge. What if you knew this person when he was a little boy or a teen - Then you would learn there were signs a long the way. For some reason the adults did not pick-up on it or at least never thought it would lead to such� I find it difficult to read the stories about these four men, especially Neil. Like Toni, I knew Neil at a younger age. I would explain things to you, but I can see that most seem to be closed minded. Therefore, just know this try to walk a mile in trying to understand why people get this bad. Most often, you will find out it started with a mental disorder at birth, then abuse, and ultimately the person acting out. Now do not run off and act as if I am sticking up for someone harming another, NEVER. They should all be punished for their crimes. What I am saying people do not get in this place over night.

~ Concern about the comments ~ PS. Do a self check and then go ahead and cast the first stone

toni
toni

i have a few things to say. first of all i am the mother of one of the children in oklahoma that mr. rodreick befriended. thankfully not the child that he did anything too. but it's a very sad scarry situation. to the person that said it was funny.....you my friend have a very sick sence of humor. to the person that said it was fiction....i'm afraid not. to the person who asked about his height and weight. he was around 110lb soaking wet and was around 5'3". his voice sounded like he may have just hit puberty. when he lived here he said he was 13, i thought perhaps he was 15.

mary roberts
mary roberts

I am proud that the school took a closer look at this boy. Also terrified that it could happen in any school in the world. But if a child does not look his age, someone should always look into it. Every where children are: from school,after school programs,ballet, karate, and sports should make sure these kids are safe from these type of people.

jtb61
jtb61

The whole homosexual lifestyle is denegrading and in the end leads to perversions beyond our wildest imaginations. Just think of the lifestyle where the average homosexual has hundreds of partners during a lifetime. What we saw here was just a drop in the bucket. When people refuse to acknowledge God, he abandons them to their evil minds and lets them do things which should never be done.

Emma White
Emma White

I would like to thank the author for pointing out that this school was the first of four who actually took the time to look at this �kid� and his enrollment documents. It gives me chills to think of the number of children desecrated by these convicted sex offenders before they were caught. It is our responsibility, as adults, to protect and care for all children in our community. Unfortunately, most Americans are too busy focusing on themselves to realize, or care, about the horrible things happening around them everyday.

Eve
Eve

The situation is shocking-- but almost as troublesome is how incredibly poorly written this article is.

Egads-- are there No editors on staff?

I cant believe the "author" actually collects a paycheck for putting forth this incoherent mishmosh

Victor
Victor

Sick and perverted. Life in prison should be the minimum. The motive to enroll the 29 year old in school was clearly the group's scam to recuit more kids. I do not believe the other two thought for a momemt they were having sex with a 12 year old.

nelly
nelly

Did anyone mention the weight and height of this man? How can it be mistaken and what about his voice? He looks old to me.

Gary Morley
Gary Morley

This has to be fiction, taken perhaps from an obscure Erskine Caldwell story. I'm pretty sure Mr. Stiffler comes from that ambience. The rest of them come from Hell.

Almond
Almond

I think that story is hilarious. Sure it is sad the depravity of these people, but the way that they fooled everyone all for sexual thrill is funny in some way.

Herbert Erdmenger
Herbert Erdmenger

I hope the 4 of them are locked up for life. If it depended on me...I would feed those 4 creeps rat poison

Hadassah
Hadassah

That's homosexuality for you.

Brenda
Brenda

Is L. Sembour crazy? "...these 4 poor fellows who do not harm much of anyone..."

Why was the 29 year old going to school? To get boys! (to HARM boys) When child pornography is purchased/downloaded, (which was evident from the story that these four losers had significant amounts of child porn in their possession) it creates a demand for more child porn which HARMS CHILDREN. Compassion? Compassion? Compassion is volunteering at the Humane Society, compassion is building a Habitat for Humanity home, compassion is volunteering to coach a Little Leage team when you don't have a kid playing, compassion is taking blankets and coats to the homeless shelter, or volunteering at the soup kitchen. Compassion is not turning 4 sexual predators loose on our children. And who is going to "watch" these characters 24-7 as suggested by L. Sembour? The kiddie porn police? Where is their office and who pays their salary? The tooth fairy? Our law enforcement has bigger fish to fry than playing babysitter to a bunch of sexual predators. I say throw them in jail and let them receive what they have been handing out to innocent children.

Rick
Rick

Excellent article - really opens your eyes to the web of lies told by career criminals and the great work by our law enforcement personnel to uncover the truth. Pathetic individuals, these 4 are.

L.SEMBOUR - you're an idiot! So what if you're a FoxNews regular or conservative Republican? What does that have to do with the fact that the mainstream of America would never agree with your crackpot ideas?

Sarah Bennett
Sarah Bennett

paranoia?!? There are thousands of children that are abused every day, and you want to call the cops going after them paranoia?? There are many other crimes in this nation we should be after with just as much force, I agree, however to save the life and to protect one child is worth what ever it takes. These four clowns (and the idiot lawyer thats defending Roderick) should be in prison. People that harm or plot to harm children do not belong in our society, They belong behind lock and key! Those that posess pornographic material that involves children are only perpetuating the problem and should also be punished accordingly. The very thought that someone could pull this off in the first place is chilling, and then there's the fact that the old man, who thougth he was having relations with a minor, was let go. Wasnt it his intent to harm a child through a lewd act? What about the next child he has contact with?

L.SEMBOUR
L.SEMBOUR

This very good article of yours should trigger questions about the very dangerous escalation of pedophile witch hunt now going-on in USA. Witness these 4 poor fellows who do not harm much of anyone treated like heavy duty drug dealers, with ridiculously high prison terms being evoked, such as life. Pure common sense and compassion is deserting this country. They should just dictate the normal response of society in this case: retrieving the false kid from the school, of course, putting at least 3 of the men in custody for a VERY SHORT while for failing to register as sex offenders, register them, and leave them alone, keeping an eye on them. This will be infinitely more profitable for the society. All this high criminal nonsense is pure bullshit. I am saying it because I know extremely well the human REAL sexual behaviors. I am a FOXNEWS faithful viewer and I vote Bush. However I absolutely do not share this pedophile parano�that is pervasive everywhere in USA and becomes a must to anyone who does not want to be labelled a krypto-pedophile himself, especially among my fellow republicans.

jennifer
jennifer

I have to agree with some of the comments from others. This IS very great reporting. It is nice to actually hear the entire story, (even though at times a little confusing to keep up with it) and I don't believe at all that "Casey Price" was a victim as August states. I believe he knew what he was doing. After all he had scammed Stiffler and Snow into believing he was 12. He obviously carried the same act into the schools in order to lure young innocent boys for his own sexual pleasure. How disgusting! He does have a mental disorder (anyone who does what he has done must have a mental disorder), but he is NOT the VICTIM!! He knew exactly what he was doing, and thought he was going to get away with it. Thanks to all those who dug through this to get down to the truth. Now maybe justice can be brought to him.

 
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