Who is abducting and killing children in Arizona?

I spent the majority of my youth in Tucson, Arizona and, although I’m no longer there, it will always be home. It is also a place where I have long suspected someone (or a group of someones) has been targeting female children for over 20 years. One of my first ‘experiences’ with murder happened when I was in 8th grade, as we solemnly watched  as the body of 7-year-old Esther “Lizette” Galaz, who disappeared from her home in December 1994, was removed from the drainage ditch near her home.  Her tiny nude body was found raped, murdered and discarded beneath a mattress that had been ‘our’ landmark. This was an area the students at our jr high, Naylor Middle School, frequented; a place of first kisses, skipped classes, and first cigarette drags, an area we felt safe with our school looming above it. Poor Ester had lived in a complex closeby that many of our classmates lived, and she was taken from the 7-11 that we hit every day after school as we waited for the city bus to take us safely home. Perhaps the fact that her case was so close to home is why, whenever a child goes missing in that area, we flash back to that day when Esther was recovered. Her case, like several other VERY similar cases, Galaz’s murder remains unsolved.

Esther Galaz

Just two years later on January 11, 1996, 7-year-old Karen Grajeda went missing, and to this day has not been located. Karen had been rollerblading in her apartment complex with friends when she disappeared, no one saw or heard a thing.

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Rodolfo Sedeno Morales, was a suspect in both cases as he was charged and found guilty of kidnapping five girls in 1993 and 1994. He was never officially charged in their cases, although his victims were all the same general age and ethnicity as both girls.

When looking at similar disappearances, not including males (that will be a later post of its own) or teenage females who are considered runaways, the amount of cases in the area is alarming.

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Screenshot-2018-6-17 Have you seen this child JACKIE LESLIE

Screenshot-2018-6-17 Have you seen this child CYNTHIA LESLIE

12-year-old Amy Marie Yachimec last seen November 06, 1981
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Screenshot-2018-6-17 Have you seen this child JANE DOE1982

Screenshot-2018-6-17 Have you seen this child SHEMAEAH GUNNEL(1)

13-year-old Brandy Lynn Myers Missing May 26, 1992 nrandi

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Danielle Pitcher, Missing Since May 23, 1993

No photo available

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11-year-old Mikelle Diane Biggs, Missing January 02, 1999

Image result for Mikelle Diane Biggs, Missing January 02, 1999

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5-year-old Estrella Cordova-Arias, Missing Since Jan 3, 2006

No photo available

Screenshot-2018-6-17 Have you seen this child ALICIA SCOTT

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13-year-old Rita Gutierrez, missing since January 08, 2009
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12-year-old Yareli Marlem Barajas missing since August 11, 2009upload_2018-3-7_11-52-27.png

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5-year-old Jhessye Shockley, missing on Oct 11, 2011No photo available

Isabel Celis, missing April 2012- her body found in a desert in March 2017, case remains unsolved.

Image result for missing tucson az 1990

13-year-old Maribel Gonzales missing June 4, 2014, and her body was found in a desert area a few days later.

Image result for maribel gonzales

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Screenshot-2018-6-17 Have you seen this child VICTORIA QUINONES

Screenshot-2018-6-17 Have you seen this child TIFFANY PHARES

 

A total of 179 missing and unidentified children span the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Arizona database. Are any of these cases related? My gut tells me yes. Probably not ALL of them were abducted by the same individual or group- but the possibility is there. All of the Jane Does have been determined to not be the remains of the named missing children, although the similarities between some of them made me double check this fact.

If you think you’ve seen one of the still missing children, or may know something that can help find them, or their killer/abductor, please contact:

http://api.missingkids.org/cybertipline

1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)

Or call 911.

❤ J

 

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True Crime Labrynth: Maura Murray

Something Bad Happened’, Oxygens 5th episode of ‘The Disappearance of Maura Murray’, aired on October 21. Although there is still no sign or trace of Maura(yet), the team has gotten more answers thus far than EVER! Jeff Williams, (Former Cheif P.D of Haverhill) finally speaks out, and we also hear more from Frank Murray and other important figures in the search for Maura. There are more in-depth discussions between Lance Reenstierna, Tim Pilleri, Maggie Freeling and Art Roderick. They are all putting every single investigative skill that they have to work. The way all of their minds brilliantly work together shows the dedication to thoroughly and expertly find answers. I am interested to see if James Renner may reevaluate his stance on what HE thinks happened, now that new interviews have been given. What is Maura’s family thinking right now? Do they have a glimmer of hope now, at least for some sort of closure?

This episode contained a lot of information and covered a lot of areas. Maps and timelines were explained, some theories were dismissed and some new ones were introduced. Cecil Smith still seems like a suspicious character, but sometimes people just APPEAR that way on camera or under scrutiny. Officer Monahan, whom sat down with Maggie Freeling and Art Roderick during episode 3, stated, on camera that when he arrived at the scene, officer Cecil Smith was there, WITH BUTCH ATTWOOD, who was “searching the woods”. This key detail seems so important as I haven’t heard Cecil Smith discuss this yet. Most documented accounts say Attwood went home and stayed there. Monahan seemed the most truthful in his accounts, with Smith seeming LESS reliable than Jeff Williams did. I really don’t think he was on the scene. I agree with Maggie that the police department isn’t involved DIRECTLY, (although the way they handled the entire case was a mess). Smith and Attwood remain on my radar as possible suspects.

I still don’t think Maura committed suicide. The packing of her birth control, her books, even taking a test the day prior- all seem to indicate that she planned on continuing her studies. She was emotionally unstable and depressed, but I think she may have been strong enough to get through it. The fact that her scent is lost by tracking dogs in the middle of the street makes me think that whatever blipped Maura off the radar happened right there. Could Attwood have put an unconscious Maura into his (unsearched) school bus? Or even an awake Maura, telling her to hide in there until the next day to avoid being in the cold? He and his wife could have HELPED her escape if she told them it was DV related, as Renner has suggested. I do wish that they would have used the tracking dogs with Maggie getting into a vehicle and then sitting in it at the Attwood location and other local ‘hot spots’, just to see if they can still follow the scent to her, even with that short little car trip.

Briana Maitlands’ disappearance was compared to Mauras, and the facts of both women’s case are eerily similar. Both disappeared, leaving a crashed vehicle and not many clues. Briana disappeared on 3/19/2004 in Montgomery, Vermont. She was small framed, dark-haired, attractive and athletic. As the map below shows, Maitland and Murrays abduction sites were not that far from each other. Just as chilling as the similarity of appearance, is the diagram that shows other missing person cases in that area.

brianna-maitland

The disappearance of 10-year-old Holly Piirainen who disappeared in 1993, her body found 3 months later, and 16-year-old Molly Bisch, abducted in 1999, 10 miles away from Holly’s abduction site, her body found three years later, further illustrates how easily someone can disappear without a trace. Is there something behind the conspiracy theory of a serial killer? There are so MANY unsolved disappearances and murders all over the world that, statistically speaking, murderers probably walk amongst us often. Serial killers are typically experts of camouflage, successfully raising families and having ‘normal’ lives, never being found. They are true wolves in sheep’s clothing.

John Smith, a former police officer, has gone to extreme lengths to try and get answers for Maura’s family. Smith followed up on a few theories of his own (not dismissing the potential for a serial killer). His search brought up 2 local brothers who lived 1 mile from where Maura disappeared. Speculation was that they took Maura from the scene and killed her at their residence. Apparently, one of the two men said that he thought the other may be involved in Maura’s case. He actually called Fred Murray and said he found a knife with blood on it, in his brothers’ vehicle. John Smith obtained the knife, it was then given to Fred Murray, and Fred gave it to the police. The police initially refused to take it into evidence, however, eventually, they accepted it. In 2006, the owner of the newly vacated home of the brothers in question allowed John to do his own investigation of the property. Cadaver dogs flagged human remains in an upstairs closet, carpet samples obtained are in also in police custody, with the knife. The police department states that the “testing is not available to the public at this time.” I’m assuming that this is to preserve any evidence should they file criminal charges of a suspect.

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In 2016 Mr. Smith was joined by Tim and Lance for a segment on their podcast. They all returned to the home of those brothers, and during that search, (inside the same closet that cadaver dogs flagged a body), they (possibly) found blood on the interior wood frame. While talking to Maggie, Smith tells her that he still possesses the wood chips they took from the scene. Oxygens team brings in a forensic DNA specialist to sample these chips, to test for blood and, maybe an eventual DNA match. As the credits roll it appears that the test may be suggestive of blood. Ending the episode on this note leaves me desperate for what is yet to come next week, and hopeful that this is the breakthrough that finally leads to closure.

J

FYI-In recapping these episodes there will be spoilers- and theories of my own. None of these theories are accusations and I, in no way, have enough information to point the finger at anyone. All pictures in this blog are owned by Oxygen.

For more information, or to help find Maura, please refer to the following links.

As always, if you have information on Maura Murry, Please refer to the information listed on her flyer.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/missing-maura-murray/id1006974447?mt=2

http://www.oxygen.com/the-disappearance-of-maura-murray/season-1/everyone-has-a-theory

http://mauramurray.blogspot.com/2011/06/new-search-begins.html

https://club.crimecon.com/

 

 

 

 

True Crime Labyrinth: Maura Murray pt 3

Code of Silence, Oxygens October 14th episode of The Disappearance of Maura Murray, shocked Maura’s case like an explosion. The influx of new information and interviews got my mind racing and my adrenaline pumping, holding myself and my now-hooked husband captive, even as the credits began to roll. Although we still have no idea what happened to Maura, the team has gotten more answers than we’ve ever had before. I am sincerely proud of Maggie Freeling and Art Roderick’s hard-hitting frank questioning, and the entire team’s dedication to following ALL leads, regardless of how small. Between Arts non-faltering stare and quick ability to shift between good/cop bad cop, and Maggies expert combo of brain, beauty, and investigative skill, Oxygen has created the perfect investigative pair! I am dying to know what is going thru the minds of Lance Reenstierna, Tim Pilleri and James Renner (The original arm-chair sleuths who’ve been on the case since the beginning), and eager to see what else is uncovered over the next few weeks…

What must Maura’s family be thinking at this moment? Does Fred Murray feel like he is finally being listened to? Do Maura’s siblings see hope for closure in the future? Will new witnesses come forward? Will we find Maura? Or, is Maura following the case herself somewhere? Safe and secure in her new identity and hoping that this renewed investigation fizzles out quickly? Prior to episode 4 the thought of her actually being alive was not on my list of plausible outcomes. Now, I’m not so sure…

FYI-In recapping these episodes there will be spoilers- and theories of my own. None of these theories are accusations and I, in no way, have enough information to point the finger at anyone. In fact, as indicated before, my original theories prior to Oxygen airing the documentary are completely different now, abruptly changed within 30 minutes of amazing investigative reporting.

Many of the individuals who have been trying to find Maura since her disappearance were unsuccessful in getting interviews with many key individuals/agency involved. Interestingly, some of the investigators one would think would be going at these leads the hardest- had remained quiet. To this day Maura’s sister says they’ve never talked to her, and have, allegedly stonewalled the family from the very beginning. Why wouldn’t they question anyone and everyone in Maura’s life while searching for her? If a woman goes missing in your jurisdiction, shouldn’t the attempt to find her be a priority?

In 2006/2007 Fred Murray sued/appealed The SVU division of the N.H State Department of public safety/ state police (unsuccessfully). Through James Renner’s blog I was able to take a look at the court documents and, as I am currently studying law, I analyzed the documents neutrally, just as I would if this were a case I would be deposing. One of the first things that become apparent is just how hard Fred Murray tried simply to get access to all of the information regarding his daughter.

On one hand, if Mr. Murray is/was a suspect I can understand the department not cooperating, as some information may need to be concealed to protect the integrity of a potentially active criminal case. (This is the basic reason Fred Murray was unsuccessful in his suit) One does wonder if Mr. Murray ISNT a suspect, why wouldn’t they just sit down with the grieving father and tell him what they can? Equally as perplexing, as some theories DO name Fred as a potential suspect, why, if guilty, would he push the government agencies this hard? If he had a hand in the pot what-so-ever, wouldn’t he want the case to fizz out? Or, is he expertly using the police to deflect his involvement? Anything at this point is possible.

The court documents are off a bit when it comes to the timeline. On many of the documents state that “a neighbor passing by” was the initial person to report the accident to ‘either 911 OR the N.H PD’ AFTER speaking to Maura briefly. ‘ This would have to be pointing to Butch Attwood, as he is supposedly the only passerby to talk to or see Maura, however we know AS FACT that the initial 911 call was not placed by the Attwoods, rather it was a different witness who made the report, also noting a ‘flurry of activity by the trunk of her car, and a possible second person smoking a cigarette.’ It is interesting that this information is left out.

Screenshot Murray Court Files 1

Court Documents

Other surprises in these documents state that the day AFTER the accident, officers contacted Maura’s brother, thinking it was her father (To whom the vehicle was registered), to report that the vehicle was found and did not mention Maura at all. Worried, the brother, Freddie, asked to file a missing person report but was shot down, being told that the vehicle wasn’t in his jurisdiction. I would like to know if this officer is Officer Monahan, whom sat down with Maggie Freeling and Art Roderick during this recent episode. He stated on camera that when he arrived at the scene, officer Cecil Smith was there, WITH BUTCH ATTWOOD, who was ‘ searching the woods’. Monahan claims he did a brief search of his jurisdiction, mostly in public places where Maura may have stopped at, but found no lead so filed his general report. He did not know that Maura was still missing until his supervisors pulled him in to discuss the case several days later. In my opinion, Monahan seemed genuine in his account of events- but he could be a very critical player later on as (I think) he is the first person to put Attwood and Smith on the scene together. Jaws dropped at this tidbit of info.

Speaking of Cecil Smith, HIS interview did not leave me with a good feeling at all. I can’t comment on his account of events, but he seemed like a shady character that’s for sure. I have rewatched his interview a few times, and the vein in his forehead and his mannerism just scream ‘unreliable witness’. Others may not agree with me. I AM glad that his comment about never meeting Attwood before was addressed by Mrs. Freling. It was an unprovoked statement, and, considering how small of a town Haverhill is… Well, I really hope the team comes back to this person.

Karen Macnimore, a witness rarely talked about, came forward. She has always maintained that she drove by Maura vehicle and a Black SUV (with 001 on the back of it). Phone records seem to collaborate the that she WAS on the road around the same time as Maura was. I believe that she saw what she saw, but am skeptical about the numbers 001. It is a very specific detail that, by no fault of her own, may have been altered by time alone. Police chief Jeff Williams, maintaining a black SUV state vehicle, number 001 IS a crazy coincidence and seems easily dismissed when Cecil Smith says he was in a black department SUV/van. Macnimore could have easily seen Smith, not Williams. Then again, maybe not. The Williams theorists say that the chief has a history of drunk driving, in his department vehicle. He drives that road, it’s his jurisdiction, so it IS plausible that he responded while off duty. Of course, Williams denies being on scene or involvement in the Maura case and so far it hasn’t been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

Some things would line up with the abovementioned theory if Williams and his department ARE involved somehow. The discrepancies in timelines, reports, lack of follow-ups and ‘stonewalling’ would indicate some sort of foul up. Even if Williams was never there. If Mrs. Macnimore DID mistake Smiths vehicle, and Smith arrived on scene at the time he admits he did, maybe the only cover up is that he made a mistake by not doing a thorough search and failed to protect Maura while lost in the woods or being abducted.

The first EMT to arrive on scene, Dick Guy, says the scene seemed off. The vehicle damage and its positioning didn’t line up in the way that it should have, in his opinion; he also acknowledged that the rag in Maura’s tailpipe was weird too. He gave his own theory, mentioning possible sabotage of the vehicle. This theory seems to go out the window with the team testing a similar vehicle where the rag popped out but did NOT cause the car to stall. It seems like Maura would have had to stuff the rag in after the accident. (WHY she would do this is still unanswered) EVERYTHING is still unanswered…

I never entertained the idea that Maura is alive. I think that James Renner is an incredible author, but I never agreed with him on that aspect. It is amazing how quickly that theory evaporated within 30 minutes of beginning this episode. This change of thought, surprisingly, came during the interview of Jeff Strelzin, Assistant Attorney General of New Hampshire. He maintains that they do not know what happened to Maura or where she is. He assured Maggie and Art that they’ve done forensic testing, grand jury work, followed up all leads, even the ones of psychics, – but says they “CANT give specifics because it is an open, criminal case”. His department will not name suspects, nor will they say who they’ve ruled out. Strelzin says “Its difficult to rule anybody out if you don’t know what happened. Maybe (sic Attwood…) was the last person… (sic to see Maura) maybe he wasn’t. We don’t know the answer to that question until we find Maura”. This is exactly when I flipped theories. Maybe Renner IS right, maybe Maura IS alive.

With all of the pieces of information and dead-end theories, with all of the attention of the case, the death of Maura’s mother and her family exhaustively searching- how could Maura consciously avoid detection all of these years? How could she put her loved ones through all of this, how could she live happily without looking back- or leaving a footprint in someone’s mind or on paper?

I AM someone who has tried to disappear. With help. I tried to escape an abuser and was successfully able to relocate with no one knowing for over a year. During court (circumstances allowed me to attend via telephone) my abuser told the judge our exact location. He had apparently known for some time. It chilled us all to the bone but brings me back to just how difficult it IS for one to stay hidden. For me, I could not help looking at facebook now and then to check on my family, I could not ignore my grandfather’s death or the birth of my niece. Once we knew we were exposed, we stopped hiding and were able to see and talk to a selective few friends and family again. We took measures to protect our exact location, but, 7 years later I still have yet to go visit home, or talk to certain people. There ARE STILL certain family members that can NEVER know our exact address as they could inadvertently give it to the person who hurt me. If you need to protect yourself, sometimes you HAVE to close familiar doors. Permanently. IS this something that Maura had to do? Did something so awful happen in her life that she DID Run? Looking at the case with the idea now open in my mind I can absolutely see why Renner drew the conclusion that ‘She ran’.

I’m still not sure exactly why the interview with Strezlin has made me reevaluate, but I will say that Maura being alive would check off a lot of lingering questions. It would also make sense as to why the police look questionable. The police do not have to release information if they find someone who doesn’t want to be found. An adult who is not wanted for a crime, and who is not declared mentally unfit to make their own decisions, IS allowed to go wherever they want. In cases where a missing person case is filed, if the investigators find the person, there is no law that makes them legally have to disclose that information. They would, however, have a duty to maintain that individuals privacy, and not infringe upon their personal safety and wellbeing. Maybe the police actually ARE doing their job, and Maura is happily living, abuse free, somewhere over the rainbow.

I sure hope so.

J

For more information I have enclosed a few of my favorite sources, As always, if you have information on Maura Murry, Please refer to the information listed on her flyer.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/missing-maura-murray/id1006974447?mt=2

http://www.oxygen.com/the-disappearance-of-maura-murray/season-1/everyone-has-a-theory

http://mauramurray.blogspot.com/2011/06/new-search-begins.html

https://club.crimecon.com/

 

 

True Crime Labrynth: Maura Murray part 2

Oxygen’s October 7th episode of ‘The Disappearance of Maura Murray’ features new testimony and hypothetical scenarios that lead, as usual, to absolutely nowhere. If anything, the recent episode ADDS new theories to her case and whets the appetite of arm-chair detectives and conspiracy theorists alike. This episode features Maura’s sister Kathleen, Her father Fred, interview Specialist Kate Marcoplous, Retired US Marshal Art Roderick, as well as interviews with an ‘I saw her alive in Canada’ witness and a friend of her boyfriend-at-the-time Billy. Maggie Freleng is joined by Tim Pilleri and Lance Reenstierna in a cozy New Hampshire cabin where they attempt to recreate that fateful night.

Some of the most important questions that I have from this particular episode was within some of the interviews with Fred Murray. Kate pointedly asked Mr. Murray if he molested Maura, as a book by James Renner may suggest. Mr. Murray denies the allegation, asking if ‘it actually says that in the book ‘, stating that he hasn’t read it, and that, ‘She was my daughter, I would never do that to my daughter’. In episode one, his son actually speaks about the effect those allegations had on Fred and the family so this raised my eyebrow a little during the denial. Regardless, If this was my child, I would read anything and everything in the media- especially something written by someone that has been following this case from the beginning. I’d go over that book with a fine-toothed comb- if anything to assure myself that I didn’t miss something. Another interesting disclosure from Fred was in regards to the 4000 dollars he supposedly withdrew for the purchase of a new car. He said on camera that he deposited the money into Maura’s bank account. I have been unable to verify this myself, but, investigators have been very clear that Maura withdrew ALL of the money in her account that night, approximately 280 dollars… did he put the money in AFTER the accident? or at all? I really wish that the interviewing specialists would have given their opinion during HIS interview!

Butch Attwood’s name continues to come up in this investigation, keeping my suspicions of his involvement intact. He changed his story more than once before his death in 2009 and my gut just cant clear him because of this. In the beginning, when shown Maura’s photo, he denied that she was the one he talked to, then said it was ‘probably her’, but that night she didn’t look the same as her class photo. In some of his accounts she was disheveled, others she was fine and didn’t appear intoxicated. Pair that with his widows’ odd 911 statement that ‘they don’t know where the girl is now’, frankly, something stinks. I would like to know if there was ever a thorough search of the school bus he drove? Was Luminol sprayed inside and out to eliminate the possibility of blood? If he was driving the bus in the snow, rounded the corner and accidentally struck Maura, there is a possibility that maybe he panicked and pulled her onto the bus and drove her home. Maybe his intentions were to call 911 and render aide once there, but his wife realized she was dead, or dying so, in panic, they decided to cover it up. This scenario is just as plausible as the ones suggesting Mr. Attwood’s intentions WERENT pure… or ones where the poor man really was just a concerned citizen who had the misfortune to cross paths with Maura… Its almost as if the more we learn, the less we know.

Kathleen Murray breaking her silence was underwhelming. I cant be certain of her truthfulness of everything, although she DID admit to falling off the bandwagon with alcohol and speaking with Maura that night. This fits the ‘My Sister!’ statement emotionally rendered to Karen, Mauras former-manager, who walked her home that night. (This manager was worried enough about Maura’s emotional state that she contacted HER manager about it.) Kathleen had recently gotten out of rehab, and it would be understandable if Maura became distraught upon learning this news. In a 2015 podcast (via Lance and Tim), Kathleen’s sobriety and criminal activity were discussed, including her being busted for growing pot in ’15. Unfortunately, with her history, I personally wouldn’t trust her being able to lucidly remember events OR her honesty in telling them… But I digress…

As for the rest of the episode, Billy’s friend had nothing bad to say about the man, but… hearsay is what it is. Id rather hears it from him, and truly hope that his issues with Maura will be discussed more in depth later in this series. The Canadian who thought she saw Maura alive, upon seeing an age-progressed photo of what she may look like today, quickly eliminated that possibility. I would like to hear more from the first responders as well as the tow truck driver and am surprised that the family who called 911 first AND the police department refuse to talk to investigators. All this does is further emphasize just how strange this case really is! I am truly anticipating the October 14th episode and hopeful that maybe, just maybe, someone will eventually uncover the truth.

J

For more information I have enclosed a few of my favorite sources, As always, if you have information on Maura Murry, Please refer to the information listed on her flyer.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/missing-maura-murray/id1006974447?mt=2

http://www.oxygen.com/the-disappearance-of-maura-murray/season-1/everyone-has-a-theory

http://mauramurray.blogspot.com/2011/06/new-search-begins.html

https://club.crimecon.com/