Phoenix police: Two cold case files opened, public's help needed

PHOENIX - Two cold-case missing person investigations have been reopened by Phoenix police, and officials are looking for the public’s help, according to police.

Julie Grubaugh, a mother of two, went missing in November 1986 at age 25 after she moved to Arizona from Michigan, according to Sgt. Trent Crump with the Phoenix Police Department. Her ex-husband said he dropped her off at a bus station in downtown Phoenix, and she was never heard from again, Crump says.

Female remains had been found in April 1988 in a remote area of Pinal County by a hunter, but the body couldn’t be identified at that time, police say.

Police collected samples from Grubaugh’s family members in 2013 and submitted them to the University of North Texas and put them into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database. Also in 2013, a sample of bone from the body found in Pinal County was submitted to CODIS.

DNA confirmed that the body found in the field was Julie Grubaugh, and police are now investigating her death, deeming it a homicide, Crump says.

In a separate case, Susan Cook, a 32-year-old, disappeared in December 1996 and was married with two kids at the time, according to police.  

The last time Susan was seen was at her apartment near 76th Avenue and Indian School Road, Crump says.

Remains were found near 87th Avenue and West Dobbins Road in June 1997, but they couldn’t be identified at the time, police say.

Last year, detectives with the Cold Case Unit of the department’s Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit said the body found in 1997 could be a match with Susan Cook and did DNA testing on the skeleton, Crump says.

Testing confirmed that the body was that of Susan Cook, and she was likely a homicide victim, according to Crump.

Police need the public’s help in both cases and want to speak to people who knew either woman and may have information on their disappearances and murders, Crump says. Photos of both women are shown above.

Anyone with information should contact the Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit at 602-534-2121 or get in touch with Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.

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