Death of Ariz. Sgt. remains an unsolved mystery

The sudden, on-duty death of Sgt. Sean Drenth has baffled homicide detectives for nearly a year

By Lori Jane Gilha

PHOENIX — The family of fallen Phoenix Police Sgt. Sean Drenth remembers him as a devoted husband, a kind friend, a free-spirited prankster, and a hard-working, well-respected police officer. He was an expert with firearms, a lover of animals, and a guitar collector who adored music.

His sudden, violent death on October 18, 2010, has mystified homicide detectives for nearly a year. Drenth was a 12-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department when he was shot to death, on-duty, with his own shotgun.

Homicide investigators have never been able to determine whether his death was the result of a homicide or a suicide, but they are relentlessly digging for clues and following leads, trying to prevent the case from going cold.

“I absolutely, to the day I die – anybody who knew him – there’s absolutely no way that Sean killed himself,” said Diane Drenth, Sean’s mother. “That didn’t happen. That’s not what happened, so the question is who would do this? Why would they do this? Sean had no enemies." 

Click below to interact with the case files and view more videos and stories about the investigation into Drenth's death.

Back to previous page