Claude Brooks: 'Most wanted' suspect who was on the run for 2 yrs arrested for 2019 killing of child in NC

Claude Brooks: 'Most wanted' suspect who was on the run for 2 yrs arrested for 2019 killing of child in NC
Claude Edsel Brooks Jr is facing charges of child abuse and first-degree murder (Pitt County Detention Center)

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

PITT COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA: A 'most-wanted' suspect who had been on the run for more than two years for allegedly killing a young child was caught in North Carolina. The 35-year-old man was on the lookout in connection to first-degree murder charges and aggravated child abuse over the death of a child in 2019 in Tampa.

On February 22, Claude Edsel Brooks Jr was pulled over for a traffic stop. At the time, the Florida fugitive showed cops a fake ID in an attempt to evade being detected in the murder case. However, cops eventually found his real identity, according to Law and Crime



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The victim sustained severe physical injuries

According to authorities, "On December 30, 2019, deputies and paramedics responded to a home located on the 9000 block of Sunset Drive in Tampa, where a family member found a young child unresponsive." The child sustained severe physical injuries and "passed away at Brandon Regional Hospital shortly after being transported." 

Chad Chronister, the Hillsborough County Sheriff said, "Detectives have been working this case for more than a year, determined to uncover the real reason why this innocent child died," and added, "At the time of the call, deputies did not find any indication of foul play, but after further investigation, detectives obtained enough evidence to charge Brooks with First Degree Murder While Engaged in Aggravated Child Abuse." However, the suspect's whereabouts were not known before an arrest warrant was obtained against Brooks on January 11, 2021, and on February 3, 2021, officers sought help from the public in locating Brooks.


Two years later, local deputies responded to a report of a man "hanging out the window" of a Honda Civic and "shooting a firearm toward a home and also into a field in the direction of a District Court Judge’s home," in Pitt County on February 22, 2023.

'Uncooperative and physically resistant'

During a traffic stop, deputies matched the description of the car with the driver who was reported earlier. The suspect who reportedly acted suspiciously then took out a fake ID with the name Rykan Ashley Green. From the vehicle, a strong odor of marijuana was emitted, according to the authorities. He was allegedly "uncooperative and physically resistant" and found a concealed handgun in the car. 'Green' was then arrested following the search.


Deputies who made a computer check found "Green to be a convicted felon" for alleged possession of drugs. However, authorities eventually found the man in custody was not Rykan Green. According to authorities, "Deputies had concerns that the suspect wasn’t actually Rykan Green as he had claimed. There were inconsistencies in the photo and info he had provided." Through a fingerprint analysis, it was revealed that the suspected man was Brooks who had been charged with the murder of a child. Added to other charges, Brooks currently faces identity theft also. His motive behind murdering the child has not been revealed, reported Law and Crime.

Chronister said, "The victim’s family, along with our detectives, can rest a little easier knowing this suspect is now behind bars," and added, "This act of cruelty was a tragedy and will not be forgotten. There is collective outrage at #teamHCSO over this case, and we’re committed to bringing Brooks to justice."

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 Claude Brooks: 'Most wanted' suspect who was on the run for 2 yrs arrested for killing child in 2019