Phoenix police arrest stepfather in 2001 murder of 17-year-old girl
PHOENIX — The Phoenix Police Department on Thursday arrested the stepfather of a 17-year-old girl in connection with her 2001 disappearance.
A day earlier, a grand jury indicted Michael Roy Turney, 72, on one count of second-degree murder in the death of Alissa Turney, authorities said.
“I am so proud of our investigators who never gave up on this case and worked so hard to get justice for Alissa Turney and the loved ones who were impacted by her disappearance,” Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said during the press conference.
Alissa’s case has been the subject of a popular true crime podcast, “Voices for Justice,” produced and hosted by her sister, Sarah Turney.
On May 17, 2001, Alissa was seen for the last time leaving Paradise Valley High School on the final day of her junior year.
After visiting her boyfriend’s woodworking class, she said her stepfather was taking her out of school early — she has never been heard from since.
Alissa was initially reported as a runaway by her stepfather, Detective Will Anderson said during the press conference.
The case was handled as a standard missing persons case until 2008 when new information was obtained by authorities following more than 200 interviews of those who knew Alissa, Anderson said.
“Through that we began to see that this was not a runaway child — something else had happened. That drew us back to the home of Michael Roy Turney, the home where he had reported the child missing and the home where he was currently residing.”
Anderson said authorities then discovered a bombing plot of Alissa’s stepfather, for which he would accept a plea deal and serve 10 years in prison.
“Him going to jail for that is not justice for Alissa,” Anderson said.
Specific information regarding evidence connecting Turney to the disappearance and alleged murder of Allisa was not immediately available.
“We had sufficient information to go forward,” Adel added after saying she was unable to make additional information public.
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