NewsSoutheast Valley NewsGilbert News


Family still seeks answers over Gilbert woman's death two years ago

Posted at 5:06 PM, Nov 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-19 23:21:42-05

A peaceful and quiet park in the East Valley remains the source of a mystery for a family left to wonder how their loved one wound up dead more than two years ago. 

Alyssa Romine, 30, was found dead in a pond at the Riparian Preserve in Gilbert in June 2016. According to police, she had been reported missing, and her vehicle was found in the parking lot. Her body was discovered in a pond. 

"It's emotional," said Romine's sister, Chelsea VanFossan. "I'm not holding up well."

More than two years after Romine's death, what happened at the preserve remains a mystery. The Maricopa County Medical Examiner's report listed what caused her death as "undetermined."

"There's no closure because you don't know what happened," said Alyssa's father, Ed Romine. "You don't know how she died; if somebody killed her, it just leaves you hanging."

Gilbert police have not said what they believe happened to Romine but told ABC15 they are actively investigating the case. 

"We have to be very concerned about the information we provide to the public because if there is a suspect identified if there is a suspect in this case, we don't want to do anything that's going to jeopardize this case at trial," said Gilbert Police Sergeant Mark Marino. 

Marino told ABC15 they welcome tips, although he would not divulge additional details into the case or what may have led to Romine's death. He did say he doesn't believe there is any threat to the public. 

"At this point I don't believe there is, but that doesn't mean that a person was or wasn't involved that just happened to be the perfect storm and unfortunately she was there," Sgt. Marino said. "I can't say that because the case is under investigation, we're still working it."

Romine's family is left to wonder what happened to her. 

"It's confusing, it's the big question mark," VanFossan said. "How do you not know?"

VanFossan told ABC15 Romine would visit the Riparian Preserve several times a week. 

"I don't want to lose hope," she said. "I want to hope that (police) are doing something and it's going to be solved."

Romine would have turned 33 later this month.