A Man Reported His Father Missing And Was Interrogated Into Confessing To Murder. His Father Was Alive The Whole Time.
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A California man reported his father missing and spent the next 17 hours being grilled by police until he confessed to murder.

Now the man, Thomas Perez Jr., has received nearly $900,000 from the city of Fontana, California, after his father was found alive and well, The Orange County Register reported.

Thomas’ ordeal began on August 7, 2018, when his father, Perez Sr., took the family dog for a walk to the mailbox and didn’t return, even though the dog returned within minutes. Thomas waited a few hours for his father to return, and then called the police to report him missing.

Instead of searching for Perez Sr., investigators spent the next 17 hours grilling Thomas into confessing that he killed his father, with investigators claiming his father had been found dead and was in the morgue.

The investigators, according to court records obtained by the Register, told Thomas they had evidence that he had killed his father and told him to just admit it. For hours, Thomas said he didn’t kill his father, but detectives allegedly explained that the human mind could block out traumatic memories.

Detectives even told Thomas that they would kill his dog, Margosha, as a stray, even bringing her in so Thomas could say goodbye. Margosha was not euthanized.

“OK? Your dog’s now gone, forget about it,” an investigator said, according to the Register.

Photographs from the interrogation show Thomas lying on the floor in the fetal position with his dog in his arms.


“How can you sit there, how can you sit there and say you don’t know what happened, and your dog is sitting there looking at you, knowing that you killed your dad?” a detective said to Thomas. “Look at your dog. She knows, because she was walking through all the blood.”

After holding his dog, Perez confessed to murdering his father, claiming he stabbed Perez Sr. with a pair of scissors after the older man hit Thomas on the head with a beer bottle.

After confessing, a distraught Thomas tried to hang himself with the drawstring from his shorts when police left him alone in the interrogation room, the Register reported. He was then put in handcuffs and sent to a mental hospital for 72-hour observation.

Before they sent Thomas to the mental hospital, however, Perez Sr. turned up alive and well. He had simply gone to the Los Angeles International Airport to wait for a flight to Northern California so he could see his daughter. Police didn’t immediately tell Thomas about this.

Thomas sued the city of Fontana and recently settled his lawsuit for nearly $900,000.

“Mentally torturing a false confession out of Tom Perez, concealing from him that his father was alive and well, and confining him in the psych ward because they made him suicidal, in my 40 years of suing the police I have never seen that level of deliberate cruelty by the police,” Thomas’ attorney, Jerry Steering, told the Register.

One of the officers involved in the case has since retired, but three others are still employed by the police department.

Police said in court documents they thought Thomas was lying because he seemed “unconcerned” when he called 911 to report his father missing. Police also found Perez Sr.’s cellphone and wallet in the home, which was a mess. Thomas said the mess was the result of renovations, but police believed it showed a struggle had occurred inside the home.

A police dog also allegedly detected the scent of a corpse in Perez Sr.’s bedroom. As The Daily Wire has reported, sniffing dogs are hardly a reliable source.

Police found blood in the home as well, but Steering argued those came from Perez Sr. pricking his finger for diabetes tests.

Steering also argued in Thomas’ lawsuit that police spent hours refusing to provide Thomas with medications he took for high blood pressure, asthma, depression, and anxiety.

“He was sleep deprived, mentally ill and significantly undergoing symptoms of withdrawal from his psychiatric medications,” U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee wrote in a summary of the case.

In her summary judgment order published on June 15, 2023, Gee ruled that “a reasonable juror could conclude that the Detectives inflicted unconstitutional psychological torture on Perez,” according to Steering’s website.

“There is no legitimate government interest that would justify treating Perez in this manner while he was in medical distress, since the FPD already had two warrants to search his person and property, and he was already essentially in custody and unable to flee or tamper with any evidence,” Gee wrote.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  A Man Reported His Father Missing And Was Interrogated Into Confessing To Murder. His Father Was Alive The Whole Time.