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Police Arrest Stepfather in Cold Case Murder of Alissa Turney

Police in Phoenix, Arizona announced an arrest in the cold case disappearance of Alissa Turney. They say her stepfather Michael Turney killed her. He was arrested Thursday, and charged with second-degree murder.

The defendant was indicted on Wednesday, according to Fox 10 Phoenix. There is no body. Alissa Turney remains missing, but police and prosecutors are moving forward with their case. Clearly, grand juries determined there was at least enough evidence to justify a criminal charge.

It is unclear if Turney has a lawyer in this matter. Alissa was 17 when she went missing in 2001. Her stepfather declared her a runaway, police said.

“I’m shaking and I’m crying,” her sister Sarah Turney wrote in a tweet Thursday. “We did it you guys. He’s been arrested.”

The local prosecutor expressed similar sentiments.

“It’s overwhelming, but in a good way,” said Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel in a press conference. “This family has longed for her and to have answers for so long and, the Phoenix Police Department worked tirelessly.”

The defendant had allegedly told Phoenix police in 2001 that he picked up Alissa from school, got her lunch, and took her home, according to Dateline NBC. She went missing while he was out to pick up her sister, in this account. Cops initially treated it like a runaway case, but the siblings became suspicious because she had left $1,800 in her bank account, and left behind personal items, including her cell phone. It turned out, however, that according to Alissa’s friends, Michael Turney was allegedly domineering, installing surveillance cameras in the residence, and picking through her possessions.

Michael Turney allegedly refused to give police surveillance footage from the day his stepdaughter went missing, or to take a lie detector test, for that matter. Police executed a search warrant at his home in 2008. They didn’t find surveillance tapes from the day Alissa went missing, but they did say they found a stockpile of weapons, including 19 assault rifles, and 26 explosives. The defendant pleaded guilty in a weapons case, and was let go from federal prison in 2017.

[Image via Phoenix Police Department]

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