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Hey, guys, if you want even more information about Alissa's case, I've started a patriot, there's already a ton of extra videos, documents and audio files to check out with even more on the way. There is so much that I cannot fit into the podcast.
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This is the story of eight women all killed and their bodies disposed of in and around the small town of Jennings, Louisiana, between the years of 2005 and 2009, local law enforcement said their deaths were the result of their high risk lifestyles. Their cases remain unsolved. This is the story of unanswered questions and families looking for answers and closure. This is the Swedien, a project season one, the Jennings A. You can listen anywhere you listen to podcasts.
You can also follow the podcast on Facebook and Instagram as well at Swedien. A project. Voices for Justice is a podcast that uses adult language and discusses sensitive and potentially triggering topics including violence, abuse and murder.
This podcast may not be appropriate for younger audiences. All parties are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Some names have been changed or omitted per their request or for safety purposes. Listener discretion is advised.
My name is Sarah Turny and this is Voices for Justice. In the last episode of Voices for Justice, we discussed my 2017 meeting with police where they told me that they were not going to prosecute my father and that my best chance of getting justice for Elissa was by getting media exposure.
We went through some emails of me pushing for movement in the case that ultimately resulted in me getting ignored for so long that I asked the chief of police for help.
In this episode, you will hear the audio from that meeting that was set up because of that call to the chief of police. We will also discuss the latest case update and the future of this podcast.
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This meeting with police was unlike any other. After speaking with the county attorney's office who informed me that they wanted Alissa's case that they had asked for the Phoenix police to present it, I was confused, upset and determined to get answers. This was not going to be another meeting where I would be caught off guard or where I would just fall to pieces. When they told me they couldn't help me, I refused to spend another meeting crying in their office.
So I prepared a list of questions and I was ready to fight for Alissa's case in a way that I had never done before.
Here is the audio of my meeting with the Phoenix Police Department from January 16th, 2010.
That's probably the quickest they got out of my hair a long time. Sure, I do events, so I understand. All right.
So, you know, I'm the new commander of investigations, except for the lieutenant over the sex crimes, missing persons and sex offender notification of.
Wonderful. Thank you. So this is yours? Yeah. I mean, right now it's been, I believe, forty seven days since Brian Chorus's responded to my email. It was a very concerning email. So obviously I'm concerned and I'm wondering what the status is. I also have the district attorney saying that he's requested things from you that you guys haven't provided. But I can't get a statement from anybody, so I'd like to know what's going on. OK, so let's address the e-mail.
When you send that email I started course know that I would be reaching out to you to set up this meeting.
So he understood that. And that's why we're meeting, is that I can address whatever concerns, OK?
Because, I mean, I thought this meeting was brought on because I had actually asked for a meeting with the chief of police and they referred me to you.
It's a combination of the fact that you had asked for the meeting with the chief and felt that you had been reaching out for ostensibly OK. So I wanted to make sure that you and I had contact. Yeah.
And yeah, I mean, obviously I'm concerned because Brian Course has been the detective on the case for a while now. And when I asked him what are my options for pressing sexual abuse charges, he says he was told that there were no sexual abuse charges when it was, in fact, your department that released these allegations to ABC News. Twenty eight or twenty eight thousand seven. So he wasn't aware of allegations that are on tape that you guys released to the news.
So obviously that put up a big red flag for me. So as far as the sexual abuse or any sexual abuse charges or anything like that, we don't have any enough evidence that we would be able to file any charges. One of the biggest issues is that we don't have a list.
Sure. But you have twenty five people stating that he did this and that she told them about it, including family members, friends. What we have is some allegations that something occurred based on some statements and was made right. But we don't have any specifics on what occurred, what occurred, what the what exactly occurred on Elmos allegations and those, Melissa? Well, we're not going to have a lessa. So and basically right now, Sara, we cannot move forward with any sexual abuse or sexual assault charges.
OK, and of course, that's just an afterthought. Of course, my main goal is prosecution of this murder.
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So as far as those those charges are concerned, we just we don't have you know. Sure. I know. As far as the D.A., who in the days are you referring to, Detective?
He's been there 14 years.
OK, he's spoken to me. He's also spoken to Alice's biological father, Steven Ström, and he told us the same information as well as a slew of other people they called. It was a part of our 12 days of the campaign that was put on by a social media intern for me. And the D.A. was flooded with calls when I called them later in the afternoon, he said that he'd been getting calls all day and that they were not aware of the case.
But when he looked it up, there was a request of the Phoenix Police Department to present this case for prosecution. He also told me that when he connected the Phoenix Police Department, you guys said that he was a suspect. My father, Michael, returning as a twenty eighteen.
So I don't know I don't know him either.
But I will tell you that we have informally allowed the county attorney's office. We actually go to the county attorney in Arizona, right? Yeah. So we don't have a D So I just wanted to make sure that we are to make sure we're talking about the things.
Sure. I mean, the district attorney's office. Bill Montgomery, that was the office that I called. OK, it's not. I just want to make sure that we are not simply it's the county attorney's office. OK, we don't have a district attorney's office either, but I don't know who is. But I know that we have informally asked the county attorney's office to review the case. And at the point that we're at right now, we do not have enough to formally charge, to formally file.
We have more than the Jamy lady case in Maricopa County, probably in it. So let me finish. I don't know that cases, but I will tell you that we do not want to prematurely file anything because we will lose the opportunity to formally well, when we have that one more piece of evidence that we are looking for in order to move on this case. And the point that we're at right now, we do not have enough.
So what are you doing to get that evidence? Well, right now we have to wait to see if anything new comes in, which because the silent witness campaign never ran, it was one spot on the website. I was told that there'd be a billboard on every freeway in Phoenix. And had my expectations been so high, I wouldn't be so upset about it. So who told you this was going to happen? It was when I was pulled in with Summer Shoe and the other gentleman, I forget his name.
You were told there was going to be a silent in this campaign. When was the last time I came in to talk to you guys? So last year before October, I believe so.
That would have been a twenty seventeen because I hear twenty seven year old, twenty eight to twenty seventeen met a summer shoe.
It was Kimberly Cooper who was another detective that was not properly briefed on the case and then another gentleman. So I would also love to know, like who's my point of contact going forward? Can I please have a detective that's actually clued in on the case? Because it's so right now, your point of contact is going to be so close. Is he ever going to respond to my emails? I believe he has been responding to your emails been well, the last one that you sent he did not respond to because I did respond to it.
OK, so that's why he did not respond to it. But every other email, he has responded because he is ceasing his lieutenant. Yes, he has been in the past, but he has stopped being responsive. Why is he not in this meeting if he's been? I have made the decision, Sarah, that I wanted to talk to you personally. You and I were going to discuss things. I believe I've already been told to you, but I want to make sure that we are on the same page.
Yes, I believe that we are on the same page, that you need a body, but you will look for the body and that you need a witness. You won't look for the witnesses. We I don't think there's a little misunderstanding of of the what we've done so far and what we can do at this point. So I want to make sure that you really understand that when Officer Anderson or Detective Anderson, a detective, so she got this case, they worked it hard, knowledge that everything that they could possibly do with what they had.
Yes. OK, so we are now at a point where we no longer have any any new clues or new information that we can work on.
But you do. And you're not investigating the leads. The party that she was supposed to be at. We do not have any new clues. We have not received any new clues. If you have new additional information that we have not yet received, we will take that and we will look into that. We my understanding at this point is we do not have any new information that we not do. So the party has been researched which party? I emailed Detective Course about it a few months ago.
What was the party? It was a party that she was expected at the night that she went missing. And what what significance? The party that she was expected that night. So we can definitely clue out a runaway if she was expected at a party she had plans that night. I think that it definitely adds to the overall investigation. But, yes, I do have any clues and I would love that. I mean, she was supposed to be at work the next day and she wasn't there as well.
So we know that she went missing prior to that party. But you can run away from work and not tell them, but you're not going to tell your best friend. You're going to be in a party in the not go. I don't like the situation's a little different.
We'll get to the party, but it's not going to give us the fact that she wasn't there. I'll get it. Yeah. So she's not there. But that's all it tells us, really. Right. Well, then there's five. The people that have come forward and said, oh, your dad told me the story that you ran away with the motorcycle guy, like there's all sorts of new things. And I would love to be able to have a constant line of communication with my parents.
But I feel like if I don't get a response, what am I supposed to do? There's also new documents that came out that allege that my father helped kill my mother with a morphine overdose, which is a whole different thing. But if we're putting together a case for the prosecution, it's strong. And maybe you should look into the Jamie case. It was prosecuted in Maricopa County without a body and it was a murder case.
OK, we're not setting a precedent. No, I think I do remember that. Yeah. Yeah. But at this point, like I said, we have to formally or ask the attorney's office to review the case. And it's actually been staffed a couple of times to formally present it. If we do it, really essentially we will submit the case. They turned down further. That case will be done. Yeah. So we won't get another shot.
If we're not looking for a body, then what are we waiting for? Nothing's going to fall in your laps. We'll be surprised with what information comes. He's also 70 years old. Are we waiting for him to die? I mean, this is the thing we don't have. The case is still open. Of course, there's always quite a bit. I know I know the frustration that you want. I know that it's frustrating.
But at this point, we need we need new information. We need to know where to look, if we're going to look for a body or we need we need additional information that we can actively start looking into. Yes. So how are you actually getting that information? What are we doing to try to get that? Keep putting it out. Keep going. I'm sorry. Nick keeps putting it out. There's the missing persons bulletins. Everything is still active.
We're still working on it. Everything right now has been closed.
But you have to understand, from my point of view, at 19 years old, I was sat down and told some pretty traumatic things about my father in an attempt to get me to believe that he killed my sister. And then four years after that, I was given documents. I was in emails persuading me that my father was guilty. And I finally come around and I'm told, you know, what we're going to do is prosecute when he gets out that way, you can't combine sentences.
What happens two weeks before he's released from prison? I'm told that the detectives are reassigned, that there's no cold case unit, that they're not working on missing persons cases, when in fact, some are. She still works on Brandy Myers case, which is super interesting to me. So I sat down at 19, traumatized, told to believe this. And I finally come around and you guys say you're not going to prosecute. Then you told me to get media attention.
I have five million impressions. I have a YouTube video with a million subscribers to it.
And I have a media dealer who's the president of page one.
I have ninety thousand signatures on a petition to get him try. What more is it going to take? Evidence.
That's what we can prove. It's what we can prove. We're not there. The case is not there.
We have more than cases that have been tried in the past. So I disagree. Well, the county attorney that would be charging it doesn't. And that's where we're at. They're the ones that would turn it down. If you if you give this to us now as it is, we turn it down and it's done.
Well, the D.A. is telling me something different. So you're talking to a detective over there. And I don't know him, but I can tell you the charging supervisor for that, you're looking down.
We need solid we have a lot of circumstantial, but we need solid evidence that we can prove in a court of law.
Ryan has two confessions. Weren't enough. He has confessed us. He told me. He tell you on his deathbed, well, he hasn't confessed to us and he's continued to refuse to talk to us. Yeah.
I mean, so how am I supposed to help with that? He will interview for this No-Name podcast and for ABC. But you guys can get an interview if you like me. So I will continue to get media pressure. I will go through with this deal. And when it gets on Netflix, it'll be really exciting to see what you guys have to say about my understanding. And correct me if I'm wrong that you attempted to get an interview from him covertly or maybe otherwise.
I don't know. Arizona is a one party state. I recorded him write that down, but I never said he never admitted to anything.
He said, darling, come on my death bed and I'll give you all the honest answers you want to hear. He also said, I will confess if the state agrees to give me lethal injection within ten days. Your department has that whole OK. However, he still is up to this.
So again, we need evidence that we can prove in court of law and that's what we're unable to obtain and able to obtain. Right.
You're not able to obtain a bit. You're also not searching for it. What would you like us to search? I would like my billboards. I was promised I would like an actual search of the body. Otherwise I will go find. Somebody raised that myself when I asked her department about resources for that, I was told. Good luck. We don't have anything for you. Where you going to look? There's three different areas I'd like to look.
One is Desert Center, California, which I believe the least. The other is underneath a large area. Yes, it is. And I have thousands of people who are willing to help me. We don't we don't have thousands of people that are going to just know I don't have a glass and the department willing to help me.
So we're we are completely willing to help with getting you down. We can't just we can not just willy nilly go into a desert area and search where we have no evidence that she's there. There's nothing telling us that she's at a specific location. If if your father or somebody would say, I know that she is in that area right there, that would be totally different.
Well, then there would be no search because then you would know where the body is. So when summer she talks to the media and says that desert center is the place you'd like to search for a body. What does that mean if you're saying that you don't know where you need to search? Because I'm getting conflicting statements, deserts and desert centers where the bone fragments were found.
Oh, OK. So the bone fragments in Riverside. Yes.
Which I'm currently fighting to get retested. I'm talking to the coroner right now and hopefully we can find whoever it is. It's doubtful that maybe we can find out whatever that.
So, yeah, we were told that the people who look at the bones are going to like anthropologists, anthropologists. Thank you. Believe that it was someone who had been there longer than Melissa had been gone and that it was possibly a male.
I'm not sure about the male part, but this was also 10 years ago. So I hope that technology advanced just a little. That's what we were told with that.
So, yeah, that's going a little more than that.
But the bottom line is, is that we we need we need some hard evidence.
And that's all we need to get order to charge. No, I understand. But you're not doing it. So it is. I mean, we are we will actively keep it open and accept, you know. Yeah, we will definitely accept leads. And if we get something that's fresh and new, we are we are going to jump on it. Because I tell you what, I spoke with some issue at length. And this is bothering of course, it was 10 years of his life.
He did an amazing job and then he just pulled off of it last minute for whatever reason, while he still gets to present. Fight it rallies because it makes you guys look good. I'm just I'm really sick of it because I'm not thinking straight.
Somebody answers, not looking for any kind of notoriety, no transaction in anybody's eyes. You could care less about that. No, it's not him.
So I think if it were up to Summertown Anderson, they would have stayed on the case. But for whatever reason, they were reassigned specifically for MySpace.
OK, so just so that, you know, Detective Anderson is in sexual crimes online, right? So he's transferred. Yeah, but she was doing so well. I was lied to and that's not what I was told. So that's I don't know who to believe. So, sir, let me finish. OK, Detective Summers, who is still assigned this case, I was told I'm not allowed to speak to him about it.
OK, what I'm asking you right now or what I'm telling you right now is detective someone who is still assigned this case, whatever you were told in the past, I can't speak to. OK, so he works for me. He works for Lieutenant Seftel. He is assigned this case. This is his case because he's the one that knows the best. Absolutely. However, that being said, any communications will go through.
Sergeant. Class. OK. OK, now there's a reason for that because I want Sergeant Course to know what's going on. I want him to be very involved in what's going on within the unit as well as with this case.
I would like that because it appears that he doesn't have much knowledge of the case.
So I think he does.
He would not have written that email had he had any knowledge of that case. He would have written that he was told that he was specifically informed that there were no sexual abuse allegations against our father. There isn't any sexual abuse cases against, you know, allegation. OK, and you have at least three people that you aired on ABC 20, 20 in 2008 stating the sexual abuse allegations. So you've got to understand what we work with in law enforcement.
OK, we work with that. Yes. OK, so we cannot go by hearsay. I'm not asking you to charge him.
I'm saying that Brian Grace was aware of the allegations.
Let me finish. We cannot go by allegations or hearsay. So what we what we have to do is if you tell me I heard something from somebody else, I can't take that and take it to a court. I talked to the person who's actually the victim of the crime in order to be able to file that for these charges. Yes. OK, so without that, we can't move forward on that.
I'm not asking you to move forward on it.
I'm asking you to acknowledge that he wasn't briefed on the case, which you're not going to do. And I understand. But he wasn't. He said that he was aware that there were no sexual allegations, which is completely crazy to me because there's over twenty five people in your documents that allege this.
So when he says that I don't know what he's talking about, the information that I was reading was that the allegations, as you say, were people saying Elissa said something had happened and he tried something, but there weren't any specific acts. So that may have been what started, of course, was referring to there were no specific acts that anybody was aware of.
Whatever you like to say, I'm not going to go round and round. It's all a matter of public record, and I'm happy with that.
So at this point, like I said, we don't have enough, but we will take in new information when we call it actionable intelligence is that's the term we use. If there's anything actionable that we can take it and run with it. We're more than happy to do that. But we don't have we haven't we haven't received any.
And you're not pursuing it. So we're never going to get there. So what you're telling me is, please be quiet and go away. I understand this is the same meeting we had.
No, you're not telling me that at. Well, because you're not allowed to tell me that. I know how this works. Let me see if I have any remaining questions while I have you here. So you said that you weren't aware of asylum in this campaign. Does that mean that it's actually not running right now?
Because I was told that it was I'll check with some people and see what's going on. I will send you over the documents from my aunt's. Said ninety thousand signatures, five million impressions with former president MTV. So I will continue on getting ridiculous amounts of media exposure and once it becomes making a murderer, it'll be really fun to see what happens then plan going forward, you will keep your eyes and ears open. Sounds about right. OK, so we're in the same exact spot before this meeting.
I don't want to waste anyone's time. I'm not happy, I don't agree with your guys. Is determination based on historical cases that have been tried? I do believe he's going to hurt somebody again. I will state that for the record, he's a free man right now. And if, God forbid, we try him and he doesn't get convicted and we're in a double jeopardy situation, will be in the same exact spot. So I don't know if the family counts for anything.
Since we are the victims, we would love to see him tried. Every person in the family believes it would love to see him try and tried as well.
And I'd like that.
And so I would love it the presentation. But we need to have evidence. We need to have strong evidence.
So this detective at the DA's office said this is definitely a case we would take.
We don't understand why this wasn't presented to I don't know who this is and I don't know why everybody in USA Today, but I can certainly speak for my own company in my own procedures.
He's not sure if he's a detective. And you guys work closely. Do you have a close relationship with the D.A.? Not necessarily making sure. Yeah, we work with Chargin bureau chief. Who's in charge of it. I don't know this.
So charge, is it going to take me to get 750000 signatures to get you guys to listen? Half the population of Phoenix. Ninety thousand right now, sir, it doesn't matter how many people believe we need evidence, aren't like an O.J. Simpson Casey Anthony type situation right now. And the whole world is pissed off about it.
Well, I mean, we're trying to find the true crime podcast conventioneer. I can't, although I cannot speak for the whole world, OK?
I'm not I can only speak for Phoenix Police Department and we do not have enough evidence to charge Mike at this time. I disagree. OK, OK.
So I will continue my social media campaign. I will continue my media coverage and so that where my division chief and the chief police is also aware that I mean, yeah, it's it's it's it's in my hands, my shot, my hands. So I will let them know that we met them. Do you have any other questions? Feel free to do that. My contact information on the general spectrum. If you have questions about the case for free to continue in such close, I mean, I'll be taking a different amount now.
I don't think you'll be hearing from me directly any longer, but that's OK.
OK, that's fair enough. OK, well, sorry, it was a waste of everyone's time.
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I left that meeting with a fire in me like never before. I knew I was getting the runaround. I knew that they were never going to run the silent witness campaign. They promised me in 2017 and I knew that I needed to get more media attention than ever before.
So I organized a protest to be held on May 17th, 2019, the 18th anniversary of Alice's disappearance. And I shared it on social media. It was to be held outside of the Phoenix police station that housed the Family Investigations Unit, the unit that oversaw Alice's case.
And I was ready to call in every favor from every creator I had ever worked with.
I was ready to rally each and every person I could to make this happen. So I began organizing, putting aside funds, looking at which permits to pull and asking creators to join the protest.
And soon I received a call from the Phoenix Police Department.
The call came from a gentleman who said he was in charge of contacting all parties who want to create a protest against the police.
He stated that he saw that I created the event on Facebook and he wanted to ensure that I would be keeping the public safe and to warn me that I may need to file for permits and could risk breaking the law if my event wasn't planned accordingly.
However, at this time, I had been doing large scale events professionally for several years.
So I informed the gentleman that I was well aware of the permitting process and event organization. And to be fair, he was very kind. He even kind of laughed when I told him about my experience and he said something to the effect of it sounds like, you know what you're doing. And he wished me luck. But that meeting just wasn't sitting well with me. And after speaking to some professionals about it, I was swiftly informed that the information I was given in relation to there only being one chance to present Alice's case to the county attorney for prosecution was incorrect.
So I called the county attorney to ask the question for myself. And this is what they said. For now, I'm not naming any of the names of those I've spoken with at the county attorney's office in this podcast. OK, well, so basically right now, you just need the police to present it, is that correct or.
Hello. I just thought it was a pause. Maybe the phone drop. Oh, sorry about. I'm driving. So it's a little one. Oh, I'm sorry. I apologize to you. Oh, no, I'm happy to capture. So, I mean, so right now, basically, you just need the Phoenix police to present it, is that correct? That's what our office has to have as a Phoenix to submit the case, the investigation and the charges and have our prosecutors and review the information.
Sure. I mean, and if they present it and you guys say no, is there an opportunity to present it again? What does that process look like? I can't tell you in this case, specifics. I can tell you that it's routine for a case to be submitted for criminal charges and to be refused or turned down. But then also a explanation is given, such as if you have additional evidence or additional witnesses or something, the prosecutor gives them the latitude to be able to correct that issue and resubmit it.
OK. OK, well, that's really good to apply. And closed door is the options always available if something changes? That's what actually happened with the. Bob Creamer case that went on for a few decades, it was resubmitted four times before they went to trial on it. Oh, wow, OK. Yeah, I mean, I'm just I guess I'm just so confused, like when I met with them yesterday, they said we don't know what it's like.
Nobody's talked to us, OK? Yeah, and I actually went to my house. I didn't go to Phoenix. I actually went up to the chain of command here. So there's some homicide guys here that they know that may have had spoken to. I don't know. OK, well, I really appreciate this information and you calling me back, I will just continue to try to get them to present it to you. I think that's probably my best course of action right now to that.
That's what I'm being told, the only course of action we have. OK. All right, well, thank you very much, Detective, thank you for your patience, of course, today. When I got this conflicting statement from the representative at the county attorney's office, I was at a loss. Who do you go to when the police seem so unwilling to help you? When you feel that you were being lied to, I had already filed a complaint with the Phoenix Police Department in the past and nothing came from it.
So I called the local FBI who directed me to the federal FBI. And here is that call. Thank you for calling the FBI. I think get your first or last name, please. Yeah, my first name is Sarah and my last name is turning to and I. Sarah, Sarah with an H at the end, as they are age. Thank you. Yeah. And then last name. Q Are you one? Yes, sir. Can I get a phone number just to confirm that was.
Yes, sir. OK, thank you. Yeah, ten, fifteen, nineteen eighty eight. All right, thank you, ma'am. Appreciate your patience and all that. And what are you calling to report tonight? So I called him in the right spot.
I called my local FBI, directed me to this line. So I'm having an issue with the Phoenix police in regards to my sister's missing persons case. We had a meeting earlier this week and they just lied through their teeth. Like I have audio to back it up. I have emails to back it up, like they're just lying about some really crazy things. So I don't know if you're the right person to speak to about it, but, like, I don't know who to go to if I can't go to the police and your sister and you give me her name.
Her name is Alice Attorney Ally SSA. Same spelling of my last name. Just to correct a little bit of background information. How long has she been missing? Since 2001, May 17th, 2001.
When did you first report her missing? My father reported her missing that day. I was 12 years old at the time. She was 17. And you say that they're they're not taking the information or they're not or they're lying about how they lied about them.
I mean, to be honest, it's a very, very long story. But essentially in our latest meeting, they told me that they can't present this case for prosecution because the district attorney would only take it one time. And if they said that, you know, if they presented it and the D.A. said no, that they could never present it again, which is an outright lie. I have a detective from the D.A. on recording saying no. And if they did it, we would give them notes for them to resubmit if it wasn't correct.
I mean, there are other things that are smaller and a little less significant, but just I mean, just outright lie is telling me that there were no allegations of sexual abuse in the case when their department released three interviews to ABC News in 2008 with these exact allegations and their paperwork has a dozen or more other people coming forward, like family, teachers, friends. And they say that there are no allegations when I have paperwork, when ABC 20/20 aired these exact allegations from their interrogation room.
Do you know whether there was an investigation done back in 2001? No, there was no investigation done in 2001. I wasn't even spoken to until 2007. And that's the thing is, you know, there's a lot going on here. Like I said, it's it's a very long story. But, yeah, essentially in 2001, they did absolutely nothing. My father reported her as a runaway and they didn't look any further into it when there were some pretty obvious things.
Had they even just come to our house or spoken to one friend or family member, they would have had the information they need now to prosecute. So, I mean, to keep it short, in 2008, I was called down to the police station and told, you know, we have some news about your sister. I was the family contact. At this point, we have some news about your sister can come down the station and talk to us about it.
Yeah, of course. And I go down there and they sit me down and they say we don't have any news. We think that your father killed her and sexually abused her and some other really horrible traumatic information. And I didn't believe it at first. That day in December of 2008, my father was convicted of the largest bomb and going bust in Phoenix history, and he went to prison for 10 years. So the detectives told me when he gets out, we're going to prosecute.
We just don't want to combine sentences. This is something we do. We wait for him to come out and then we prosecute again so he can feel he can serve the full term. And then a few days before he was released, the two detectives that have been on the case for about ten years were reassigned. And I was told that there was no cold case unit, that they weren't working on missing persons cases, when, in fact, Detective Stuart Summers, you continue to work on his missing persons cases, just not so.
I was told we're not going to prosecute. We're going to do a silent witness campaign for you. We're going to get you a billboard on every freeway in Phoenix that never happened. They told me to get media pressure. So I went to them this week and I said, listen, I have five million impressions. I have a media deal with the former president, VH one. I have ninety thousand signatures on this petition. I have a million views on this YouTube video about it.
Like, what more is it going to take? And they said basically they won't prosecute without a body. And this morning, Alissa's biological father, Stephen Strong, called Detective Sergeant Brian Kooris, who is the main contact on the case, and Sergeant Corey said that he thinks that he'd like to prosecute and now I can't get a call back, so I don't know what's going on. Someone is lying. The D.A. told me, Detective, he's been with the district attorney's office of Maricopa County for 14 years, said that he looked it up and that they had requested that the Phoenix be presented for prosecution.
They never responded. Do they give a reason why other than would the case worker. Worked case once they said that they did a mock presentation and they didn't think it would go through with what we had and yeah, that they could only present it once and it could never be presented again. I mean, she lied about the reason for the meeting I had when I emailed Detective or I'm sorry, Sergeant Brian chorused about sexual abuse allegations and he had nothing to say.
I didn't get contacted for forty seven days. I had to contact the chief of police, his office to them so that I could have a meeting with the commander of the unit, Christina Gonzalez. And in our meeting, she goes, well, I didn't he didn't respond to the email because that's why we're having this meeting today. And I said, no, we're having this meeting today because I had to contact the chief of police to get this meeting.
And she was all of the combination of that. And again, it just directly conflicts with all their paperwork and emails and other statements they've made.
What I'm going to say, I'm going to go and get this information back into our system. Do you have the name of the two detectives? Yes. They're no longer assigned to the case, but the two detectives that worked on it for ten years, is that who you like? Yes, I have a bronkhorst. So the two detectives that worked on the case for 10 years were Detective William Anderson and Detective Stuart Summers, and for the record, I tell everyone they did a great job and then it was reassigned to a detective, Kimberly Cooper, who was not properly briefed on the case, wouldn't even meet with me in person.
And then it was later reassigned to Sergeant Brian Kooris. But the meeting I had was with Commander Christina Gonzalez, who said that course didn't need to be in the meeting. So I don't really know who's taking point on this. I think right now, probably no one. OK, well, ma'am, what I'll do is I'll get that information document into our system, so it's available to us at this time, though, when I'm going to say this sounds like something that's going to have to be handled state and local level, I'm going to recommend that you can contact if you feel that there's been improper conduct within the police department or with specific detectives or sergeants, you can contact either their internal affairs department in Phoenix who are going to have jurisdiction over proper police conduct, or you can contact the state police and speak to them to make sure that there are other law enforcement officers on that level aware of what's going on.
OK, thank you very much. I don't know who to go to. You can also contact an attorney if you if you feel that you would like to take this into a civil court and find out what your legal rights are in that in that area. But as far as right now, this is really going to be something that has to be handled the state and local level. We will keep this information on file. And if anything escalates or anything becomes more, you can certainly call us back and we can get that added to our record, though.
OK, thank you very much. Thank you, ma'am. You have a good evening. News on. After this call, I took their advice and I called the state police, but they told me they couldn't help me and sent me right back to the Phoenix Police Department. Again, I was at a loss at this point, I felt as if I had tried every avenue possible to get justice for Laci through traditional legal routes. It felt as if there really was nothing else I could do other than sticking with my mission to get media and doing the protest.
But then on January 20, third, 2019, I received the following email from Sergeant Brian Chorus of the Phoenix Police Department. Quote, Sarah, we are submitting Alissa's case to our prosecutor's office for charges against Michael Terni. I do not have a timeline available for you as to how long this process will take. Our prosecutor, we will be in touch once we hear from their office. Thanks, Brian Kooris, sergeant, end quote. I was stunned as far as I knew and know today there has been no new evidence presented in Alissa's case to change their minds.
And I will never forget the moment I read this email for the first time, I was stopped in rush hour traffic on my way home from work and I checked my email. Tears began pouring from my eyes. My heart began to race and my hands were shaking. It was finally happening. All of the years of hard work, sacrificing my career relationships and pretty much all of my free time had finally paid off. I called the county attorney's office to confirm the news and they did.
I asked them when I might know their decision and I was told it would be about two weeks. So I went to social media and said that I was so excited that I would be able to tell everyone about an amazing case update very soon. And I canceled the protest. After all, the police had finally done what they said they would so many years ago. They agreed to present the case for prosecution. And I really felt it wasn't appropriate to go forward with the protest.
At this point, I was terrified and insanely distracted, I could not think of anything else. I spent most of those two weeks refreshing websites that displayed new court cases and fresh Phoenix mug shots. I barely slept eight or did much of anything except wait in anticipation and terror that it was finally happening. But those two weeks came and went and there was still no news. I followed up and was told it would probably be another two weeks. And again, those weeks came and went and then turned into months.
I was becoming terrified that the news would get back to my father. I am still terrified. So although I wanted to scream to the world that Alissa's case was finally being presented, I only told those closest to me those I felt I could trust. At first, I didn't even tell my brothers. Eventually I would beg the police to not release the news until my father was arrested.
But that request was not honored. I began to lose hope and I regretted my decision to cancel that protest. I was afraid that I did exactly what they hoped I would, which was lose steam to stop fighting so hard for the case to shut up and go away. I had been led to believe that action would be taken in this case before, and I knew that I could not stop advocating for Alissa's case in the media. I felt like I needed to step it up a notch from what I had been doing for so many years, I was ready to take the media coverage in my own hands and begin making my own content.
I am so grateful for all creators that have covered Alice's case, but I didn't want to be at the mercy of news outlets and content creators anymore.
So at the suggestion of so many amazing friends and those creators, I started Voices for Justice and put out a trailer in June of 2013 promising the excruciating detail that you've heard thus far in the podcast. I have thought about how this series would end so many times. And as much as I wish I could say that Alissa has her justice and as much as I wish I could give you a satisfying ending. I can't do that right now because that is not the current reality of her case.
This episode is the last episode I will make covering the official timeline of Alice's case at this time. Right now, Justice for Elyssa hangs in the balance and is in the hands of the Maricopa County prosecutor's office. These last 18 months have been insane, to say the least. There have been promises made, a lot of scary incidents and some very sad ones as well. But this podcast was designed to help Alissa's case move forward, not hinder it.
While they are deciding whether or not to take this case just does not feel like the appropriate time to discuss those issues, as I feel it could hurt Alissa's chances of getting justice. However, rest assured that once we have a decision and once I feel it is appropriate and will not harm Alissa's case, you will hear the rest of this story because just like what you've already heard, it really is stranger than fiction. And more importantly, I feel that it could be very helpful to other families fighting for justice for their loved one.
All of that being said, there are still topics in Alice's case that I will be digging deeper into in this podcast that just didn't make sense to put into the official timeline of these past 24 episodes. You will hear from experts, another family member still dealing with the Phoenix Police Department for their sister's missing persons case. I will be discussing theories, including those that don't include my father as the perpetrator and so much more. And after that, I will cover other cases that are still in need of justice.
So although this is the end of the timeline of Alissa's case, for now, there is still so much more to be discussed on this podcast. Before I close out this episode, I want to thank you all for going on this insane journey with me. This podcast has been absolute hell at times, but I know I wouldn't have made it through without all of you, without your messages of support, without you sharing her story to help me get the media attention.
The Phoenix police advised I get because until OSA has her day in court, I will not stop fighting for her. I will not go away and I will not be silenced. So. Like I promised when I first started this podcast a year ago, I am leaving you with a call to action. Please share this story. Please join me in being loud about this case. Justice for Elyssa literally hangs in the balance right now, and I need your help more than ever, we are so close to having a resolution for Elyssa and we cannot give up now.
So share this podcast, share your favorite podcast covering Elissa's episode, share an article, share the petition. Just please keep sharing Alissa's story, because I truly believe that this is how we will get justice for Elyssa. So again, thank you. I love you and I'll talk to you soon. Voices for Justice is hosted, produced and edited by me, Sarah Turny, if you want to learn more about Elyssa story and how you can help with the case, visit justice for Alyssa Dotcom.
And if you love the show, it would really help if you gave me a rating in review in your podcast player. Thank you so much and I'll talk to you next time. Hey, guys, this episode was exceptionally emotional for me, I went back and forth on what to do pretty much until I finished it, because I want to tell you guys everything. Everything. And I will, but in due time, and I really hope that you can understand why I had to make the decision that I did.
As much as I want to tell my side of everything. It's not about me, but when the time is right, I will go on that journey and tell you what it was really like from my point of view, because I truly do want to help other families. And I think that the lessons I've learned along the way can really do that. Which actually leads me in to this episode's question. Hi, Sarah.
My name is Christina and I live in Oxford, Ohio. I learned about Alice's case on the episode of Crime Junkies that you were talking about. And I just wanted to start by saying that I think you're amazing and so brave and you're an inspiration. I my question is, how do you keep your composure and your patience with the Phoenix Police Department when they obviously don't want to help with Alice's case? I I lost my mother when I was young and I pretty much raised my brother since I was 10 years old.
And if something happened to one of them, like what has happened to Alyssa, I and my local police department was just so obviously I'm willing to help. I think I would burn my entire city down. I don't know how you keep your composure and your patience with them, especially when they just blatantly ignore you and your questions and your concerns about the case. They just act like you're not there. So how do you keep that patience with them?
How do you keep so calm and so collected? Because I, I don't think that I would be capable of that. And it's just like you are such an inspiration and I don't know how you do it. So that is my question for you. Thank you so much for listening. Hey, Christina, first, I'm so sorry to hear about your mother, and I commend you for raising your brothers. I'm sure it isn't easy and I imagine that you're pretty badass.
WOMAN But to answer your question, I learned the hard way that the police can only care so much about your emotions in their professional capacity not to say that they're terrible human beings who don't care, because I really don't believe that even with some recent disappointing revelations. But detectives, imasu and Anderson.
Call me way too hopeful and trusting, but I still believe that deep down somewhere they care for Elyssa and for this case. But like any other professionals, the police have a job to do. That doesn't include taking your feelings and emotions into account. That's why they outsource that to counselors and victim advocates. And in my experience, when you act with emotion as opposed to logic, they and others will use those emotions against you. I'm not saying it's not valid to have those emotions.
I'm just speaking to my experience. And I'm not going to say that it's easy. There have been so many times I wanted to scream that I wanted to run to social media and discuss all of my feelings about all of the things that I think are wrong. But when you do that, you enable them and enable others to paint you as an overemotional family member. That has lost all sense of reason and logic, someone that cannot be reasoned with, someone that will not listen to the facts.
For me, it became a defense mechanism. I learned that crying got me nowhere, but presenting them with records is something that ultimately cannot be refuted. For example, when Sergeant Kooris told me that there were no allegations of sexual abuse in Alissa's case, I could have called him every name in the book and said awful things to him. And I'm sure people would have understood. But that isn't how you get through to the police, in my opinion.
So I presented him with the fact that the department believes so strongly in these accusations that they presented their own interrogation videos to a national news outlet with these allegations, because that can't be refuted. That can't be argued. So in short, how I stay so calm with the police is because I have to because I don't have a choice to be a normal human being with them. I don't have a choice to be emotional with them because it doesn't work.
Again, this is in no way to say that family members emotions are not valid because they are in my opinion, you're allowed to feel however you want to feel about your family member's case.
But at a certain point, you have to think about what the smartest course of action is to get your optimal resolution for that case. And like I said, years of breaking down, crying in their offices and telling my opinions didn't work. So I became very logical and very fact based and I saw results with that. I can't guarantee that's the outcome for every case out there. If you take my advice, all I can tell you is that is what worked for me.
But this case is still open, so who knows, maybe it didn't work. Maybe I should have tried something different. I won't know until we really have justice for Alyssa, but until then, I'm just doing the best I can. While I have you guys in our secret after show moment that we've created here to probably nobody that's really listening to this again, I just want to say thank you for having all of you as my support system through this was unexpected, but I think it's exactly what I needed to give me the strength to keep going.
I'm literally sitting in my closet slash recording studio and it's filled with my father's letters, Thomas Heimer's letters, police reports. And it's crazy to think that the timeline has finally ended. There are times where I screamed in this closet more times than I can count that I cried.
It has been the most heartbreaking, exhausting nightmare of an experience to relive all of this and to learn the things that I have to experience, the backlash I have for creating this podcast, I have been accused of doing this for fame and for money. I have been told I have no business in the podcast. Space creators have turned their backs on me. I have gone to court to defend myself over this podcast and so much more. There were times where I sat in this closet that acts as my recording studio at 3:00 in the morning, just crying that I even had to make this thing.
I have had countless conversations with those closest to me where I swore I was going to quit, that I was over it, that I could not do it anymore. For 18 months, I have been on high alert about Alice's case each and every day, I wonder if today is the day my father will be arrested. And if that's my fault. And every bump in the night that I hear, I worry that it could be him coming for me.
I don't see this for sympathy, I say this to set the record straight.
I don't want any family member of a victim to think this process doesn't hurt like hell because it does. I don't want any family member to believe that they won't receive backlash for telling their story because they most likely will. But with that being said. It has also been extremely healing for me to make this podcast, I learned more about Alyssa and her case than I ever would have, relying on other creators to investigate the story. For me, the sense of peace I have, knowing that I have done almost everything in my power to get justice for Alessa is something that I can't fully explain.
So do I regret making the podcast? Absolutely not. But was it easy? Hell no. But I don't think I would have changed it for the world, I mean, of course, if we could go back and just get justice for Elyssa right away, I would change it. But other than that, I have grown so much through all of this pain, I have learned so much about the industry, about true crime, about these types of cases in the legal system, doing this for myself made me grow as a person, and it gave me all of you.
It gave a lessa, all of you, nothing has picked up momentum in this case, like this podcast. I would have never expected it. Me again, sitting in this closet with a 70 dollar microphone and the worst laptop I've ever had in my life. I still can't believe that I made it to this point, 24 episodes, a full year of being completely enveloped in this case. I'm literally sitting here just shaking my head, no matter what happens in this case.
Thank you for listening to it and giving her a chance. Which is more than she had for so many years. And so many of you have done more for Alyssa than those who knew her in real life, and I will never forget that. So just know that you just listening to this podcast has helped her case. And hopefully in the future, I can help some other cases and some other families, and I hope that you'll show them the same love that you showed Alyssa.
Because there are so many amazing people that have been lost, so many cases that need justice. And as far as I'm concerned, this is my new mission in life. If I can prevent one family from going through one terrible thing that I've experienced, it will be worth it.
If I can offer any guidance that results in progress, it will be worth it. If we can get one new tip on one of these cases, it will be worth it. I could go on forever and ever and I'm sorry, I'm definitely rambling. I think part of me doesn't want this episode to end because it's just too real.
But with all that being said, I really hope I did a this story justice. And again, thank you for listening and being here with me through all of this. Thank you. I love you. And I'll talk to you soon.