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10 October cold cases yet to be solved in the Valley

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Posted at 6:00 AM, Oct 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-01 09:00:30-04

PHOENIX — A couple found dead after a camping trip. A teen who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. A man whose body was found weeks after he was last seen with friends.

The following 10 cold cases occurred in various years during the month of October. Please contact authorities if you have any information that could help solve them.

Double murder of Brandon Rumbaugh and Lisa Gurrieri: October 2003

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Brandon Rumbaugh, 20, and Lisa Gurrieri, 19, went on a camping trip to celebrate their one-year anniversary on Friday, Oct. 17, 2003.

The couple borrowed a pickup truck and planned to return the next morning, but they did not return as planned. Family searched for possible locations where they may have camped.

Their bodies were later found in the truck bed, parked in a secluded dirt area near Bumble Bee in Yavapai County. Both had been shot to death.

No suspects were identified.

Silent Witness is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest or indictment of the suspects. Call 480-WITNESS with any info.

Disappearance of Travis Riddle: October 2005

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Travis Riddle, 19, was last seen in October 2005 in the area of Congress, Arizona.

Riddle’s vehicle was found in the desert near 5 Mile Tank in Congress, according to NAMUS.

His disappearance was identified as “mysterious” and officials believe foul play played a role.

Multiple possible suspects have been interviewed, but police are still looking for information on what happened to Riddle or where he may be.

Riddle is said to have frequented areas of Wickenburg and Congress.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Yavapai Silent Witness at 1-800-932-3232.

Murder of Patricia Staggs: October 2006

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Just before 4 a.m. on Oct. 11, 2006, an unknown man broke into the home of 75-year-old Patricia Staggs.

Staggs was violently attacked by the man, who assaulted her using his hands and a sharp object.

She died from her injuries days later.

The man was said to be Hispanic, in his early 40s, and had black/gray hair.

Silent Witness is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest or indictment of the suspects. Call 480-WITNESS with any info.

Death of Elvis Johnson: October 2003

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Elvis Johnson, 84, and his wife were walking in the parking lot of The Home Depot near Alma School Road and Chandler Boulevard around 5:20 p.m. on October 21, 2003.

A suspect approached the couple and grabbed the wife’s purse. Elvis engaged in a struggle with the suspect over the purse and was pulled under a vehicle as the suspect drove away from the scene.

He later died from his injuries.

The suspect was vaguely described as a Hispanic man in his early 30s, about 5 feet, 6 inches tall, ad of medium build. He was driving a late model four-door vehicle similar to a Toyota Corolla. The vehicle had extensive damage and tinted windows.

Silent Witness is offering up to $11,000 for information leading to the arrest or indictment of the suspects. Call 480-WITNESS with any info.

Death of Jeremy Pineda: October 2011

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Before 7 a.m. on Oct. 10, 2011, 1-year-old Jeremy Pineda was with his grandmother and four other children at an apartment in Mesa.

Two Hispanic men confronted the grandmother at the back door and shots were fired before the suspects fled on foot. This occurred in the area of Main Street and Horne.

The grandmother went to check on the kids and discovered that Jeremy had been struck by gunfire. He died from his injuries.

Police only describe the suspects as being 30-40 years old, tall, and thin.

Silent Witness is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest or indictment of the suspects. Call 480-WITNESS with any info.

Homicide of Susan Morse: October 1989

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Susan Morse was found dead in her apartment near Country Club Drive and Southern Avenue around 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 16, 1989.

Police say the 22-year-old woman lived alone and there were no signs of forced entry.

A year later in the same area, a woman was sexually assaulted in her home.

Evidence from both scenes was determined to be connected, but no suspects were identified.

Silent Witness is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest or indictment of the suspects. Call 480-WITNESS with any info.

Murder of Douglas Miguel: October 2000

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Police say 33-year-old Douglas Miguel was killed sometime during the morning of Oct. 30, 2000.

He was last seen at a bar before he was found dead under a tree nearby in the area of Arizona Avenue and Frye Road.

Officials identified a person of interest as a Hispanic man who went by the name of “Puma.” He had a clean-shaven, young-looking face and a distinct tattoo on his right arm.

Silent Witness is offering up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest or indictment of the suspects. Call 480-WITNESS with any info.

Murder of Elisa Gano: October 2000

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On Oct. 3, 2000, a paving crew in a construction yard near 39th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road discovered the body of 30-year-old Elisa Gano.

Gano had been killed sometime the evening before at the hands of an unknown suspect.

Silent Witness is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest or indictment of the suspects. Call 480-WITNESS with any info.

Murder of Brian Coney Adams: October 2001

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Forty-four-year-old Brian Adams was found dead in his living room by his girlfriend. She reportedly hadn’t heard from him in a couple of days and wanted to check on him.

Adams lived near Cave Creek and Mountain View roads.

Police say he was shot to death, but no suspects were identified.

Silent Witness is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest or indictment of the suspects. Call 480-WITNESS with any info.

Murder of Nimrod Thomas Jr.: October 2009

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Twenty-five-year-old Nimrod Thomas Jr. was last seen on Oct. 10, 2009, when he was with a group of friends near Alma School and Guadalupe roads in Mesa.

His body was discovered by Gila River Police Department on Oct. 30, 2009. He was shot and killed, police say.

No suspects were identified.

Silent Witness is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest or indictment of the suspects. Call 480-WITNESS with any info.