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Lost in the Shadows: Alissa Turney

Source%3A+Sarah+Turney
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Lost in the Shadows: Alissa Turney

Source: Sarah Turney

Source: Sarah Turney

Source: Sarah Turney

Source: Sarah Turney

Kylie Hayden, Managing Editor

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On May 17, 2001, tragedy struck Phoenix, Arizona and the Turney family, when their beloved Alissa Marie went missing, after her stepfather Michael picked her up from school. Today she is 34 years old, but only 17 at the time of her disappearance. Alissa was wearing gray shorts, a white tank top and gray sneakers, standing at five feet, four inches and weighing anywhere from 130-145 pounds. She has brown hair and a half inch scar located on her chin.

It was the final day of Alissa’s junior year at Paradise Valley High School. Her stepfather (Michael Roy Turney) says that on that day, he decided to pick Alissa up from school early to take her to lunch before returning home. He stated that during their meal he had gotten into an argument with Alissa because she was asking to have more privileges. This lead to her shutting herself in her room when they got home because she was so upset. At approximately one that afternoon, he had left her home alone to pick up Alissa’s younger sister Sarah, and also to run a few errands. When Michael tried to call Alissa he got no answer and they returned home at approximately five that evening. Michael supposedly found a note written by Alissa stating she was running away to California.

The local authorities treated Alissa’s case as a runaway. She had left $1,800 untouched in her bank account and she left her makeup, hairbrush and other basic essentials behind, but supposedly she took a black backpack with her. Alissa never had expressed to her siblings, whom she was very close with, her friends, or even her steady boyfriend of any feelings of wanting to run away. No one heard from her after she went missing except for a supposed phone call that she made to Michael from a payphone in California a week after the incident. All these small factors made police reconsider and began a more thorough investigation into her disappearance.

Nothing else really came up in Alissa’s case until 2006, when a man from Florida confessed to murdering her, but his whole story turned out being false. Michael had stated in the past that he traveled to California over thirty times to look for Alissa, but in 2008 everything changed drastically. That December the police executed a search warrant on the home Alissa lived in at the time of the disappearance and the family’s new home just across the street to try to find any evidence they could recover. They ended up finding nineteen high caliber assault rifles, twenty-six homemade explosive devices, and two handmade gun silencers. Michael also had two pistols on his person, a recording device, and seven magazines of ammunition. When he was detained for these several weapon changes, the police also found a lengthy ninety-eight-page manifesto that he titled “Diary of Madman Martyr” where Michael accuses the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers of being behind the abduction and murder of Alissa. He also stated in said, “diary” that he had already murdered two of their “assassins” who were responsible and he would later be blowing up the union hall in revenge, killing himself in the process.

Two years later in 2010, Michael pleaded guilty in court to the possession of twenty-six unregistered pipe bombs, sentencing him to a maximum of ten years in prison. The judge’s reports also state that Michael had a paranoid personality disorder and required him to participate in mental health treatments while he was in prison.

In more recent years, it has come up that Michael was extremely protective of Alissa, installing video surveillance all over the house, including her bedroom, following her to work and staying outside to ensure that she stayed there, recording/monitoring all of her phone calls, etcetera. When the police found the surveillance tapes and went over them, they found out that the day she went missing there is no recording of that day. It is heavily theorized that Michael Turney did have something to do with Alissa’s disappearance.

Thank you so much for reading about Alissa’s case. If you have any information, you can contact her sister Sarah Turney by email at [email protected] or go to helpfindalissa.com

I encourage you to please be respectful no matter what your thoughts or theories.  

Kylie Hayden, Managing Editor

Kylie Hayden is a managing editor for the Capital Outlook Newspaper. She has been on the Outlook staff for two years and is trained in the use of Adobe...

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Lost in the Shadows: Alissa Turney