Tempe police still don't know whether the gunshot wound discovered on the body of a Tempe man found dead in an irrigation canal last week was self-inflicted or the work of a cold-blooded murderer.
Tempe police Sergeant Steve Carbajal tells New Times there's still no update in the case but that friends and co-workers of the dead volunteer worker, 47-year-old Jeff Ahlers, seem to think there's a murderer on the loose in Tempe.
Ahlers was last seen about 6 a.m. last Tuesday as he left his house in the 4800 block of South La Rosa Drive for his morning walk.
Ahlers, Tempe police say, never returned home.
Ahlers' gunshot-wounded body was found two days later in the canal, and police are now trying to determine whether it was suicide or murder.
Carbajal last Wednesday said Ahlers often walked along canal paths near his home and that there was nothing out of the ordinary about his behavior before his disappearance.
Carbajal said Ahlers has a good relationship with his family and spent his time doing volunteer work with his wife.
Friends and co-workers of the dead man have used a previous blog post about the death to echo Carbajal's assessment that Ahlers had no apparent reason to kill himself -- some are even expressing frustration that suicide is even under consideration by authorities.
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-As a close friend of the deceased, I can tell you that he was a happy, caring, loving man who was always there fir his friends and family. Jeff did not own a gun. He had a positive view of life and shared that positive message with anyone who would listen. He was always encouraging and upbuilding. Take his own life??? Absolutely no way on this earth did that happen. Some lowlife took his life and has deprived the world of a very good man and loving human being. There are (no exaggeration) hundreds of people deeply mourning his passing. Many of us will be hurting for a very long time. If you didn't know the man, keep your opinions to yourself. You are doing more harm than you could imagine.
-My heart aches for Jeff's family. I am praying for his family and close friends who are hurting over this. There are literally "hundreds" of us mourning Jeff's death. I can say with full confidence, Jeff did not take his own life. He gave so much to so many and made more people happy than anyone can possibly know. At this time, what is needed is remembering the "good name" he made for himself. It hurts my heart that individuals would be speculating that he took his life, as opposed to trying to find the evil person that took his life. Our prayers to the family.
-As "Jeff's friend" says - there is no way the Jeff took his own life. He was one of the finest people I've ever known. He always had a smile on his face and was known for his good humor and positive attitude. There are MANY of us mourning him. Jeff was the kind of man who would forgive the person who shot him had he survived.
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