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October 19, 2017

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Brothers arrested in death of high school teacher

Police say one suspect was a student of the teacher

Updated Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008 | 4:15 p.m.

Basic High School teacher memorial

A makeshift memorial for Basic High school choir teacher Matthew Thomas Cox is seen outside Basic High. Launch slideshow »
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Jose A. Delatorre

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Two brothers have been arrested in connection with the murder, burglary and robbery of a Basic High School teacher found dead in his home Monday afternoon.

The Clark County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Matthew Thomas Cox, 32, of Henderson.

Cox was the choir teacher at Basic High School, and one of the two people charged was a choir student.

“The victim knew the two suspects,” Henderson Police spokesman Keith Paul said.

Cox had last been seen Sunday night, when he had dinner with a friend. His body was discovered in his home Monday afternoon by another friend who had arrived to take care of Cox’s pets. She told police that Cox was supposed to be in Michigan for Christmas.

Henderson Police arrested the two suspects, Jose A. Delatorre, 18, and a 17-year-old whom his co-workers at Dunkin’ Donuts identified as Delatorre’s brother. Delatorre was booked into the Henderson jail and the 17-year-old was booked into the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center.

Basic High band director Mark McArthur, who has worked closely with Cox in the three years since Cox arrived at Basic, remembered Cox as “a fantastic choir director.”

“He took over a really good program at Basic and has just done a great job,” McArthur said. “As a teacher, he was incredibly dedicated to his students and to enhancing the program.”

McArthur said Cox arranged a trip to New York for the choir and just completed a busy slate of holiday performances. He said that in addition to his duties as choir director, Cox took on a number of side projects to help students interested in other areas of singing.

“He was a well-respected member of our faculty and he will be missed,” McArthur said. “The biggest thing now is to take care of the kids and make sure that the choir program keeps going and all the great work that (Cox) has done keeps going.”

Jeremy Twitchell can be reached at 990-8928 or [email protected].

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