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Coconino County Cold Cases Need Help

Coconino County AZ Cold Case Unit members Joe Sumner, Amy Kelly and Chuck Jones stand with the skull of an unidentified set of remains that bears the entrance wound from a single gunshot. The remains were originally found below Shoshone Point at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in 1933. (photo courtesy of Jake Bacon/AZ Daily Sun)

Flagstaff AZ (September 18, 2012) – In 2005, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office developed a Cold Case Squad to review cases that have not been solved.

There are over twenty eight (28) unsolved Coconino County homicides under review by the Cold Case Squad. Some of these cases date back to 1955 when many forensic tools were unavailable for investigations.

All members of the Coconino County Cold Case squad are volunteers. Members of the Cold Case Squad developed forensic and investigative expertise during careers with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Department of Public Safety (DPS) Investigations, DPS Crime Lab, Forensic Nursing, Courtroom Proceedings and Judgements, Crime Scene Investigations, National Park Service Law Enforcement, and many other specialities.

Devil Dog Doe

The goal of the Coconino County Cold Case Squad is to be able to state with confidence that everything is being done or has been done to solve cold case files. Whenever possible, evidence from these cases will be re-examined using the newest scientific methods.

One of the more prominent cases being worked by the Cold Case Squad is known as the “Devil Dog Doe Case.”

The Devil Dog Doe cold case is the homicide of a female who was discovered off of Devil Dog Road, west of Williams, Arizona in October 2003.

Devil Dog Doe (2)

One of the first goals of the squad is to identify the Jane Doe victim, also known cordially as Devil Dog Doe. (see artist renderings to right)

Efforts to identify the Devil Dog Jane Doe have included numerous interactions with law enforcement agencies, both nationally and internationally.

The case and artist’s renditions of the victim were publicized in the Arizona Republic and the Arizona Daily Sun, as well as on websites such as the National Center for Missing Adults, the Doe Network, and America’s Most Wanted and now the SedonaEye.com.

Devil Dog Doe (3)

With the assistance of the Violent Crime Analysis Unit of the FBI, this was the first homicide case to be published in the Academy of General Dentistry.

Chemical analyses point to possible regions in which the Devil Dog Jane Doe victim may have resided. While this case has produced many promising leads, the identity of the victim remains unknown. The public’s help is necessary to solve this case and bring a murderer to justice, and a name and family to Devil Dog Jane Doe.

Contact the Coconino County Cold Case Squad at http://www.coconino.az.gov/contact/form.aspx?id=522 if you have information or tips that may help solve this Devil Dog area cold case and or others:

COLD CASES IN FLAGSTAFF & COCONINO COUNTY

 

Anyone with information about any of the following deaths is asked to contact the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Squad at 928-226-5033 or 928-774-4523.

 

1958 Mary M. Begay was reported missing in 1957.  Skeletal remains were found just outside the Grand Canyon on October 31, 1958 and were believed to be remains of Ms. Begay’s; no positive identification was made.
1965 Jose Perez was found stabbed to death in his Williams home on February 1.
1966 Julius Chee was found beaten to death in the forest near North Highway 89 and Camp Townsend on July 6
1968 Skeletal remains were found on June 6 at Hermit Rapids in Grand Canyon.  These are believed to be the remains of David Jensen, but no positive identification made.  Manner of death was undetermined.
1971 Merrit McCalister the owner of gas station and diner near Twin Arrows was slain at his business on August 30.
1972 Terry Lee Arnold was found stabbed to death just off Highway 89 about 47 miles north of Flagstaff on July 27.  Two Navajo females discovered his body.
1975 Unidentified male, 25 to 30 years old in a badly decomposed state, was found by a rancher looking for a stray on April 19.  The body was found about a mile north of Interstate 40 approximately 38 miles east of Flagstaff.
1975 Deborah Carrick was found on Septemer 6 in a side canyon of the Little Colorado River 13 miles west of Cameron.  She had received a severe blow to the head.
1975 No body found, but a shirt with blood and 36 stab holes was found on September 19 at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  The victim is believed to be a female who was stabbed to death, possibly by members of “Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.”
1975 Faye Tohannie was found on October 13 just off A-1 Mountain Road about a mile north of I-40.  The victim been shot.
1977 Michael and Charlotte Sherman were found on January 22 behind Powell Memorial at Grand Canyon.  They had been shot in the head.
1980 Unidentified male skeletal remains were “rediscovered” May 12.  They are likely the skeletal remains of a male originally found below Shoshone Point on June 4, 1933 with a bullet hole in skull.  The death at the time had been determined to be a suicide.
1981 Margaret Neuman was a passenger in vehicle traveling westbound on Highway 160 northeast of Tuba City on July 14.  She was shot and killed by an unknown occupant of a vehicle traveling eastbound.
1981 Jerry Heath was found shot and killed near Winona Cinder Pit on September 8.  His stolen vehicle was later found in Yuma.
1982 Francis Capaldi was shot three times and found along Butler Avenue in the city on February 11.
1982 “Valentine Sally” was found the victim of most likely suffocation or strangulation.  She was found February 14 a few yards north of Interstate 40 about 10 miles east of Williams.
1983 Jeffrey Harper was found by a jogger about 2 miles off Interstate 40 at the intersection of Forest Roads 515 and 505 near the city limits on August 8.
1985 Virgil Hoke was found shot to death in his trailer near Happy Jack on October 14.
1987 Sarah Saganitso was found beaten to death behind Flagstaff Medical Center on June 17.
1987 Douglas Goss was found beaten to death on August 31.  His body was found just south of Interstate 40 at the Devil Dog Road exit near Williams.
1987 Ina Langstaff was found stabbed to death in an alley in Plaza Vieja on the west side of the city on November 7.
1988 Unidentified male skeletal remains were found by a rancher at Gold Trap Ranch near Ash Fork on November 12.  The manner of death was undetermined.
1993 Craig Bier  was found shot to death at Meteor Crater campground about 40 miles east of Flagstaff on August 10.
1994 Jonathan Francia was the victim of a carjacking in Albuquerque on January 13.  His body was found on the Navajo Nation about 2 miles north of Bird Springs.  One carjacker, Paul Richardson committed suicide.  The other carjacker known as Jason has never been located.
1994 James Peterson  was found shot to death in his trailer in Fredonia on March 14.  Manner of death was undetermined.
1995 Homer Wright  was found beaten to death in his home in Parks on September 27.
1995 Unidentified male was found in shallow grave on October 5 off Forest Road 418 near North Highway 89.  Therre were two bullet holes in the skull.
1995 Unidentified male skeletal remains were found by ranchers off Forest Road 142 near Seven’s Ranch at Ash Fork on October 31.  Manner of death was undetermined.
1996 Unidentified male skeletal remains were found by a Forest Service Ranger on May 13.  The remains were found northeast of Interstate 40 at the Welch Road exit near Williams.  Manner of death was undetermined.
1997 Penny Rodriguez was found stabbed to death.  Hikers discovered her body in the National Forest near Blue Ridge om June 19.
1998 Elizabeth Matthews was last seen February 21. Her husband told investigators she went for a walk at the base of Mount Elden; she has not been seen since.
1999 Richard Barnes, Lynn Patrick, Michael Alexander were found shot to death in a trailer near Bellemont on October 25.
2001 Unidentified male skeletal remains were found by hunters in Bear Canyon 20 miles south of Williams just off Forest Road 173 on February 16.  Manner of death was undetermined.
2001 Justin Richardson a 13-year-old was last seen walking away from friends at Grand Canyon on July 2.  He has not been seen since.
2003 Unidentified female was found on October 24 just off Devil Dog Road near Williams.  She died from a single blow to the head.
2004 Darwin Sheppard was found stabbed to death at a residence in Doney Park on December 24.

3 Comments

  1. melody peterson says:

    Man who was shot to death James Peterson in March 14 1994 was my father ..I recently discovered from outside family members that he was deceased. I never learned what has happen to him He left my mother in 1966 with four kids and pregnant with my sister never to be heard from again. I was researching genenolgy and discovered that he had fathered two more children..I did talk to them but the are closed mouth on what happened to my father only that he killed hisself… this wasn’t my father personality style, and they were to strange about the whole thing. So poking around with the web I have discovered this site stating that his killing is a cold case.. how do I go about finding details or what the story is??? I am the oldest child to this man if he was murdered I would like justice. A lot of time has past ad I owe it to my sisblings to let them know what happened to daddy.

  2. Desertguy says:

    It’s odd, I was looking for arrest records in Fredonia Arizona and came across this. I’m only 24 but it surprised me that I’ve never heard about this. In a small town you happen to hear everything. I know Coconino County is a large county and the police force is minimal, but they could put more effort in finding out why this case is going cold. A Police Officer was shot a few years back and they put 300 + on the search for the guy (I completely understand the reason, he has many brothers) there was also a man found froze to death barefoot east of town, another hundred yards or so and he would have made it to a warm home. His name is Jeremy Utter, good friend of mine from Cedar City Utah.

    The investigation was led to believe he died from the cold (no shit) but brushed it off with no foul play involved. It could have been looked into further. With you fathers case being from 1994 I believe it should defiantly be reopened! The homicide rate is so low here, I don’t see why it cannot be further investigated. This story intrigues me so I would like to join you in your search for the truth. I don’t know where you live you deserve to know the truth. Maybe I will someday contact you for info, what little I presume you have. Thank you and I’m sorry for your loss.

  3. Ron Mason says:

    A woman by the name of Ina C Langstaff was found stabbed to death in an alley in Plaza Vieja on the west side of the city on November 7, 1987. I am curious as to whether anyone knew her and whether or not she had ever lived in the Seattle WA area as a young teen around 14 or 15 years old. I knew a young woman the victims age. She and I were in 9th grade together at Rose Hill Jr High School. We were close but lost touch soon after. I have searched for her over the years and had come across this news and dread finding out this was her. Please email me with any further details if you knew this particular person. Thank you, Ron Mason ronmason@live.com

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