Claude Brooks arrested for murdering child: Deputies

Claude Edsel Brooks Jr. (Mugshot: Pitt County Detention Center)

A Florida fugitive on the run for more than 2 years after being accused of murdering a young child, has been captured in North Carolina.

Claude Edsel Brooks Jr., 35, was first pulled over for a traffic stop back on Feb. 22 and though he managed to use a fake ID to initially evade detection in the homicide case, investigators ultimately managed to suss out his real identity, according to authorities.

Brooks was wanted on a charge of first-degree murder while engaged in aggravated child abuse in connection with the 2019 death of a child in Tampa.

“On December 30, 2019, deputies and paramedics responded to a home located on the 9000 block of Sunset Drive in Tampa, where a family member found an unresponsive young child,” authorities wrote. “The child passed away at Brandon Regional Hospital shortly after being transported.”

The victim had sustained serious physical injuries, they said. Authorities cited interviews and forensic evidence in determining Brooks’ alleged culpability.

“Detectives have been working this case for more than a year, determined to uncover the real reason why this innocent child died,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “At the time of the call, deputies did not find any indication of foul play, but after further investigation, detectives obtained enough evidence to charge Brooks with First Degree Murder While Engaged in Aggravated Child Abuse.”

But Brooks’ whereabouts were apparently unknown by the time they obtained an arrest warrant against him on Jan. 11, 2021. Deputies reached out to the public for help in finding Brooks on Feb. 3, 2021, but it was to no immediate avail.

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