El Sendero murder suspects in custody

By Linda Bentley | September 2, 2009

Stealing a credit card and being stupid enough to use it

CAVE CREEK – On Monday, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced through Twitter, no less, that detectives had three suspects in custody connected with the murder of Douglas Engstler, 63, who was found dead in his home at 5486 E. El Sendero Road last Tuesday afternoon by his son.

According to MCSO, Kathleen Ann Madden, 32, and Robert Thomas Pleickhardt, 43, were taken into custody on Saturday and admitted their involvement in the murder.

Madden had outstanding warrants for her arrest after failing to appear in court on forgery charges in April and a shoplifting charge in May.

Pleickhardt was arrested in 1998 for possession of methamphetamine, a class 4 felony, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest, both of which are class 6 felonies.
Corion Kentrail Babers, 23, who was just paroled from Arizona Department of Corrections on July 16, 2009 after serving less than four years of a five-year sentence on a class 2 felony for possession of dangerous drugs for sale, was arrested on Sunday.

At the time he was sentenced to prison for his drug offense, Babers was also sentenced to 18 months probation upon his release for attempted burglary in the second degree, a class 4 felony.

MCSO stated the suspects gained access to Engstler’s home, taped the victim’s hands and feet behind his back with electrical tape, stole his wallet and other valuables and used one of Engstler’s credit cards at the gas station on the southwest corner of Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway.

Arpaio stated, “Because of them stealing a credit card and being stupid enough to use that credit card … it led us to the people that committed this crime.”

Each of the suspects have been charged with first-degree murder, burglary and theft, while Madden is also facing two felony counts of forgery for which she failed to appear in court earlier this year.