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10 January cold cases yet to be solved in the Valley

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Posted at 7:00 AM, Jan 01, 2021

PHOENIX — Police are still searching for answers after the disappearance of a group home resident, the murder of a young woman at home with her baby, the shooting deaths of multiple party attendees, and the killings of men in their apartments.

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

Murder of Nicole Aguilera: January 1991

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On Jan. 17, 1991, Nicole Molly Aguilera was found "brutally murdered" inside her apartment near 3rd Avenue and Buckeye Road.

The 18-year-old's body was found around 11 a.m. and, according to Silent Witness, her 8-month-old daughter was the only person present at the time of her death.

A neighbor reported hearing loud voices in the apartment around 1 a.m., but no other information is known.

Silent Witness is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that could solve the case.

Deadly shooting at Glendale house party: January 2016

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Three teenagers were shot and killed at a house party near 67th and Missouri avenues on Jan. 30, 2016.

Suspects, only described as unknown Hispanic males in their late teens to early 20s, were asked to leave the party around 3:30 a.m. They reportedly got into a white four-door sedan and fired shots while leaving the area, hitting eight people in the front yard.

Five people were hurt, but 16-year-old Yovani Flores, 19-year-old Jose Aguirre, and 19-year-old Sean Marquez were killed.

Silent Witness is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that could solve the case.

Murder of Erin Akers: January 2016

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Police found Erin Akers dead outside of a business near 15th Avenue and Van Buren Street on the afternoon of Jan. 18, 2016.

The 32-year-old's death was "not from natural causes" and was investigated as a homicide, according to Silent Witness.

No suspect information was determined. Anyone with information is asked to contact Silent Witness, which is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that could solve the case.

Disappearance and murder of Jenika Feuerstein: January 2009

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Jenika Feuerstein was reported missing from the area of Mesa Drive and Brown Road on Jan. 3, 2009.

The 20-year-old was last seen with a man, Silent Witness says.

Her body was found years later, on April 6, 2014, near Apache Lake in the Tonto National Forest.

Silent Witness is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that could solve the case.

Murder of Patricia Cota: January 2014

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Officers responded to a call of an unresponsive woman in an alley near Luna and El Frio streets in El Mirage on Jan. 31, 2014. It was then that police determined the woman, 24-year-old Patricia Ann Cota, had been killed.

Detectives believe at least two people were involved in moving Cota's body.

The last known person to be seen with Cota was her boyfriend, Jesus Tober, Silent Witness says.

A reward of up to $5,000 is available for information that could solve the case.

Murder of Fabian Cano: January 2012

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Around 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 8, 2012, unknown suspects fired shots into a home near 75th Avenue and Indian School Road where an underage drinking party was taking place.

One of the rounds went through the house and into the backyard, striking Fabian Cano in the head.

Cano, 19, died from his injuries a few days later.

No suspects were identified.

Silent Witness is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that could solve the case.

Murder of Gerald Dexter: January 2005

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Gerald Dexter was found murdered in his hotel room at the Travelodge near 32nd Street and Thomas Road on Jan. 4, 2005.

Dexter, 45, was staying at the motel while he stopped in Phoenix on a drive back home to Colorado.

Silent Witness says he was last seen alive with an unidentified man at the Divas Bar near 36th Street and McDowell Road.

Dexter's truck was found at the motel undisturbed.

No suspect was identified.

Disappearance of Du Cong Trinh: January 2005

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Phoenix police say Du Cong Trinh was last seen on Jan. 15, 2005, around 11 a.m.

The 39-year-old had been on foot near a Fry's grocery store near 19th and Glendale avenues.

Trinh was living in an assisted living group home at the time and is a diagnosed schizophrenic. He speaks very little English and is a native of Vietnam.

He is 5 feet, 3 inches tall, 130 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact the Phoenix Police Department Missing Persons Unit at 602-534-2121 or phoenix.tips.ppd@phoenix.gov.

Murders of Joshua Gamboa and Arnold Felix: January 2010

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On Jan. 4, 2010, around 3:20 p.m., an unknown person or persons entered an apartment near 15th Avenue and Camelback Road.

Joshua Gamboa, 24, and Arnold Felix, 28, were inside the apartment and were shot multiple times. Gamboa died at the scene and Felix later died at the hospital.

No suspects were identified.

Silent Witness is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that could solve the case.

Murder of Larry Westbrook: January 2015

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Larry Westbrook, 30, was shot and killed at the Coconut Grove Apartments near 20th Avenue and Indian School Road on Jan. 10, 2015.

Several residents heard multiple gunshots and saw multiple people fleeing the scene. The group fleeing was reportedly made up of several Black men and at least one White man. No further description was provided.

Detectives are asking anyone with information to call Silent Witness.