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Police looking for suspects in 2003 murder of Phoenix woman

The victim, Lynsey Chainhalt, is shown. (Silent Witness Photo)

Judi Petersen remembers the last night she saw her 20-year-old daughter, Lynsey Chainhalt, alive.

It was Friday, June 13, 2003 in north Phoenix.

“She was a waitress. She walked in the house in a hilarious Hawaiian shirt and we all made fun of her, but it was Hawaiian night at Coco’s,” Petersen recalled.

“She changed her clothes and, as she left, I kissed her on the head and told her to be careful like I did every time she walked out the door.”

Chainhalt and some friends were heading to a party in Mesa.

Hours later, Petersen got a call from the chaplain at Good Samaritan Hospital. Doctors asked her to get there as soon as possible.

“When we got there, they told me that she was shot once in the head and that she was dead,” Petersen said.

Chainhalt and her friends were on their way home on northbound Interstate 17 when a dark-colored SUV with tinted windows began harassing them.

It followed when she took the Bell Road exit. The SUV overtook her vehicle and slammed on its brakes.

It’s occupants jumped out and opened fire with an assault rifle, shooting 17 rounds.

Phoenix Police detective Kim Neis said investigators have developed two persons of interest based on new facial-recognition technology. They are 30-year-old Ricardo Sanchez-Molinares, also known as Butcho, and 28-year-old Fermin Gomez, who also goes by “Mini.”

They’re known to travel across the border.

“The hope is that people on this side know about them and can point police in the right direction,” Neis said.

Petersen often thinks about what could have been.

“Where she would be and what she would have been doing,” she said of her daughter. “I’m sure it would have all been good. She had a great soul.”

Read more about this case.

Arizona's Morning News

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