SILENT WITNESS

Phoenix police hoping for leads to solve decades-old murder case

May 17, 2024, 1:00 PM

In 1986, the body of 18-year-old Lachelle Waite was found in her Phoenix home. Police are hoping yo...

In 1986, the body of 18-year-old Lachelle Waite was found in her Phoenix home. Police are hoping you may know something to arrest her killer. (Silent Witness and Pexels photos)

(Silent Witness and Pexels photos)

This article originally appeared June 20, 2016.

Lachelle Waite was beautiful, young and had her whole life ahead of her.

“They called her Chelly,” Phoenix Police Detective Dominick Roestenberg said. “She was kind, generous and caring.”

The 18-year-old had recently graduated from Maryvale High School, where she was on the track team.

Her mom said Waite was planning to marry her high school sweetheart and raise a family with him.

“We have no information whatsoever that she had any ties to any sort of criminal activity or any bad people in any manner,” Roestenberg said.

Here’s everything we know about the 1986 murder of Lachelle Waite

On Jan. 16, 1986, at about 12:45 p.m., Waite’s dead body was found in her family’s home near 59th Avenue and Thomas Road. She was a murder victim.

“There was no forced entry into the home so she may have welcomed them in,” Roestenberg said. “There was some degree of trust there.”

Investigators believe she knew her killer. Some personal property was also taken from the home.

And there’s more.

“I think it’s important,” Roestenberg said. “There was a strong investigative lead that was interviewed at the time. We, unfortunately, didn’t have enough information at that time to make an arrest.”

The suspect at the time the homicide took place was described as 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighs 140 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes.

Investigators are hoping you can provide more information that will help them nail Waite’s killer.

Read more here.

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Phoenix police hoping for leads to solve decades-old murder case