On-Duty Memphis cop killed man, hid body, “Find my Phone” app used to solve crime

MEMPHIS, TN – Police in Memphis working a homicide this week found out the killer was one of their own.  After getting a call from a woman about her missing boyfriend, she used a “find my phone” tracking app to locate her boyfriend’s phone after he had been murdered.

On Wednesday, January 6th, at approximately 8:30 p.m., officers received a call regarding a male adult who was missing. Upon speaking with the complainant, officers were advised that her boyfriend, 30-year-old Robert Howard, was last seen in the 3500 block of Mark Twain Street around 5:00 p.m. on January 5, 2021.

“Officers were further advised that the complainant used an app and tracked the victim’s cellphone near Lamar Avenue and Shelby Drive, in which she located the phone but did not locate the victim,” the Memphis Police Department reported. “A Missing Persons report was filed, and a City Watch was issued for Robert Howard. Due to the circumstances surrounding the victim’s disappearance, the Missing Persons and Homicide Bureau worked together to gather additional information.”

Using what they had, police were able to investigate the murder and were shocked to learn the murderer was an on-duty cop.

“Through a thorough investigation, investigators determined that the victim was taken from the residence in the 3500 block of Mark Twain Street and was shot by 29-year-old Patric Ferguson, who is known to the victim,” the department said. “Additionally, Patric Ferguson is a Memphis Police Officer and was on duty when this incident occurred.”

It turns out Ferguson kidnapped the victim and took him to a more secluded area near Denver Road Park and executed Howard.

After a review of the evidence in this case, it was found that Ferguson, acting on his own accord, armed himself with his personal handgun, encountered the victim outside the residence, and forced the victim in the rear of a squad car. Ferguson then drove to the area of Frayser Boulevard and Denver Street, where he shot and killed Mr. Howard.

Patric Ferguson was arrested and immediately relieved of duty from the Memphis Police Department. Ferguson has been charged with First Degree Murder, First Degree Murder in Perpetration of Aggravated Kidnapping, Especially Aggravated Kidnapping, Abuse of a Corpse, and Fabricating and Tampering with Evidence.

Patric Ferguson is assigned to the Tillman Station and has been employed by the MPD since October 2018.

A second individual, 28-year-old Joshua Rogers, an acquaintance of Ferguson, assisted Ferguson with relocating Mr. Howard’s body after he was killed. Rogers was arrested and charged with Accessory After the Fact, Abuse of a Corpse, and Fabricating and Tampering with Evidence.

“No one is above the law. 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,” said Director Michael Rallings. “Our investigators responded swiftly and did an outstanding job by identifying the suspect responsible. This is an example of the professionalism and dedication that is displayed daily. Regardless of who you are, our investigators will conduct a thorough investigation and will seek justice for all victims.”