SILENT WITNESS

Phoenix police searching for suspects in woman’s brutal 1985 murder

Jan 8, 2024, 1:00 PM

Debra Faye Asbury, left, and Asbury with unknown man in 1985. (Silent Witness Photos)...

Debra Faye Asbury, left, and Asbury with unknown man in 1985. (Silent Witness Photos)

(Silent Witness Photos)

This article originally appeared Feb. 1, 2016.

“It was particularly gruesome,” Phoenix police cold case detective Dominick Roestenberg said. “It was extremely violent.”

Roestenberg said someone walking to work found the body of a woman in a dirt alley on the south side of Trevor Browne High School near 75th Avenue and Thomas Road.  It was 7 a.m. on March 22, 1985.

“Her name was Debra Faye Asbury,” Roestenberg said. “Ms. Asbury was strangled, stabbed and a piece of barbed wire was looped around her neck.”

The 27-year-old was last seen the night before, either at Boomerang Bar or Mr. Lucky’s. Witnesses saw her leave one of the bars with two younger men.

Their vehicle was pretty distinctive: A 1960s step-side pickup truck. It was faded red with primer spots.

Days earlier, Asbury was seen on an ATM camera withdrawing money at a bank. A man in his early 20s with blonde, wavy hair was standing beside her.

Police don’t know if he was involved in her death but they do want to talk to him. Even decades later, it’s possible someone will recognize him.

Roestenberg spoke to a close friend of Asbury who described her as a good person — free-spirited, fun-loving and enjoyed being single.

“We’re hoping somebody recognizes the person in the picture or recognizes the description of the truck and calls police,” Roestenberg said. “We want to close the case. We owe that to [Asbury].”

Silent Witness

A man was shot and killed in northwest Phoenix on Feb. 23, 2023. (Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Polic...

KTAR.com

Man in early 30s shot and killed at north Phoenix apartment complex

Detectives are investigating a homicide which left a man in his early 30s dead in an apartment complex Monday morning.

6 days ago

A Phoenix Police SUV with lights on at a crime scene at night...

KTAR.com

Food truck vendor stabbed and killed in late-night west Phoenix brawl

Detectives are investigating a stabbing in a brawl which killed a 41-year-old man late Saturday night, authorities said.

7 days ago

Image of victim and suspect...

Jayme West

Phoenix cold case: Fatal 1994 shooting near downtown baffles detectives

With little forensic evidence, police are seeking answers, hoping for a breakthrough in this cold-case.

13 days ago

Headshot of Albert Moore, who was found dead in his Phoenix home in early 2012....

Jayme West

Phoenix police still searching for clues in grandfather’s 2012 murder

Albert Moore, 76, was found beaten to death in his Phoenix home in early 2012. The case remains unsolved, police said.

27 days ago

Side by side photos of victim Leonel Pineda-Valdez....

SuElen Rivera

Family urges community to help identify suspect in fatal 2022 Phoenix shooting

Authorities are asking the community for assistance with identifying the suspect in a fatal Phoenix shooting that took place in late 2022.

1 month ago

White Chevy Tahoe suspected of killing pedestrian in August hit-and-run. (Silent Witness photo)...

KTAR.com

Police still searching for hit-and-run suspect responsible for killing pedestrian

Phoenix police are still looking for the driver of a Chevy Tahoe which killed a female pedestrian in August, Phoenix PD said.

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Phoenix police searching for suspects in woman’s brutal 1985 murder