Man Arrested After Missing Dancer's Body Found In Angeles National Forest
A man has been arrested in the disappearance of Rakheem Reyes after Reyes' body was found in the Angeles National Forest on Saturday. Reyes had been missing since last Monday. Phillip Von Wade, 20, of West Covina has been arrested on suspicion of murdering Rahkeem Reyes, a 27-year-old professional dancer, according to a release from the L.A. County District Attorney's Office. Reyes' body was discovered near San Gabriel Canyon Road in Azusa Canyon Saturday morning. Authorities say that Wade used an ax to bludgeon Reyes inside a home in West Covina, and then hid his body in the forest. West Covina police Cpl. Tim Rodgers told KTLA that Wade had admitted to killing Reyes, and that they believe he acted alone.
Phillip Von Wade (Photo via West Covina Police Department)
According to Deputy D.A. Marie Cox, Reyes and Wade had been friends, while Reyes' mother said she did not recognize him as one of her son's friends. In an email, Reyes' girlfriend Christina Oliver told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that Reyes had hired Wade to create a costume for him, for which he was going to pay him $700 to $900. Though Oliver said her boyfriend had asked Reyes to make the costume several months ago, it had not been completed as of Monday, September 5, when Reyes went to Wade's West Covina home for a fitting. That was the last time Oliver saw her boyfriend. On Tuesday, September 6, Reyes' car was found in the street in West Covina, running with the keys in the ignition, and several of his personal belongings left inside. “There was no reason for anyone to be mad at Rocky. He is not gang-related, he doesn’t do drugs, he doesn’t drink nor does he owe anyone money," Oliver wrote.
"I got no words for [Wade]," Reyes' mother said, according to ABC 7. "I can't begin to tell him what he's taken from me."
Reyes' family had set up a Facebook page to help them in their search for the missing dancer. On September 11, they posted that his body had been found.
We are deeply heart broken and thank everyone who took the time to look for Rocky, as well as the prayers which were said in his name. At this time, the family asks that their privacy be respected. A statement from the family will be made available in the next coming days. God bless you and god bless our son, Rocky.
Wade pleaded not guilty on Monday and his bail has been set at $2.02 million. If convicted as charged, Wade may face a sentence of 26 years to life.