Phoenix police began their search for a missing north Phoenix woman at a landfill on Monday.
Over the next nine weeks, police will be searching the SR 85 landfill southwest of the Valley for 34-year-old Christine Mustafa’s body, which has yet to be located.
"They will spread out the garbage in lines and our detective and officers will use rakes to meticulously go through that garbage looking for any remains or evidence," a Phoenix police spokesperson said.
An anthropologist from the Medical Examiner's Office, along with cadaver dogs, will also be assisting in the search.
"The searchers are being very meticulous," a Phoenix police spokesperson said. "They're taking their time because they do get one shot at this."
Police say they hope to find Mustafa before nine weeks, but feel that's how long it'll take to search the entire area.
"History shows it's about a five percent success rate, which is very low," Phoenix police said. "We feel confident and optimistic about finding her because we were able to narrow it to a significantly small area."
The young mother was last seen on May 10 leaving a Walgreens where she worked. The following day she failed to show up for her shift, police said.
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On June 8, authorities arrested her live-in boyfriend, 27-year-old Robert Interval, on one count of first-degree murder.
According to police, Interval told investigators that Mustafa had walked to work on the day she didn’t show up for her scheduled shift at Walgreens.
Just days before her disappearance, Mustafa allegedly told her sisters that she was afraid of her boyfriend. According to her sisters, she was planning to leave him because he repeatedly accused her of cheating and even threatened to kill her.
Phoenix Police released the following timeline on Mustafa's disappearance:
- May 10, 2017: Christine was last seen by a coworker as she was leaving work.
- May 10, 2017: Later in the day, Christine spoke to her sister by telephone. This was the last time Christine had been heard from.
- May 11, 2017: Christine failed to show for her scheduled work shift.
- May 11, 2017: The family of Christine called Phoenix police and asked them to check on the welfare of Christine. The police went to her home but there was no answer at the door. Christine's boyfriend arrived while police were at the home and he told them Christine had left for work earlier that morning on foot. Phoenix police entered a Missing Person report at this time.
- May 16, 2017: Detectives from the Phoenix Police Department served a search warrant on Christine's home in an effort to locate clues to her disappearance.
- June 8, 2017: Mustafa's boyfriend arrested, booked for first-degree murder