UPDATE: Memphis Police said a body, who is believed to be Robert Howard, has been recovered in the area of Second Street and the Wolf River Bridge.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis Police officer is charged with forcing a man into his squad car and killing him while on duty.
Patric Ferguson, 29, is charged with first-degree murder, especially aggravated kidnapping, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse in the death of 30-year-old Robert Howard.
Police released a statement at 2 a.m. Sunday that outlined the allegations:
On Jan. 6, Howard’s girlfriend called police to report him missing. He had last been seen around 5 p.m. the day before in the 3500 block of Mark Twain Street in Frayser.
The woman used an app to track Howard’s cell phone to the area of Lamar and Shelby Drive, police said. They issued a Missing Persons report and a City Watch for Howard.
Police said an investigation revealed that Ferguson, armed with a handgun, encountered Howard outside his residence and forced him into his squad car. The two knew each other, police said.
Ferguson then drove to Frayser Boulevard and Denver street, where he shot and killed Howard, according to MPD.
Ferguson was relieved of duty, police said. He has been assigned to MPD’s Tillman Station since 2018.
Another man, 28-year-old Joshua Rogers, also is charged with tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse in this case. Police say he was an acquaintance of Ferguson and helped him relocate the body.
“No one is above the law,” Police Director Michael Rallings said in the MPD statement. “Knowing that a Memphis Police Officer, someone who took an oath to protect and serve, made the decision to commit this horrific crime is devastating. His actions were not that of a law enforcement officer and should not reflect on fellow officers.”