Stepfather Speaks Out About Missing Teen
Shocking discovery leads to new questions about stepdaughter's disappearance.
PHOENIX, Aug. 12, 2009— -- In December 2008, Phoenix Police detectives went looking for clues in the disappearance of Alissa Turney inside the home of her stepfather, Mike Turney. Their hope was to find video and audio tapes from Turney's extensive surveillance system that might reveal what happened to the 17-year-old girl on the last day she was seen alive in May 2001.
"There were video cameras set up that covered the door, the car port area, pretty clearly and also there was a video camera inside of the main thoroughfare through the house," said Det. Stuart Somershoe, one of two detectives who were tasked with investigating the seven-year-long mystery.
If you have information that might help solve the mystery of what happened to Alissa Turney, please contact the Phoenix Police Department on their Web site, or by phone 1-480-WITNESS, 1-480-948-6377.
They say they were looking for evidence of Alissa leaving the house if she really did run away and a tape of the phone call her stepfather claimed she made to him a week after she allegedly left.
Alissa disappeared on the last day of her junior year at Paradise Valley High School. Mike Turney told police he had picked Alissa up early from school, taken her to lunch and then dropped her off at home. When he returned, Turney said that he found a note in her bedroom, which said she was running away to California. Aside from a brief phone call to her stepfather, Alissa has not been heard from since.
But Turney's extensive home surveillance system, stories from Alissa's friends about his almost obsessive control of her life and allegations of sexual abuse, became part of a growing list of strange details about Alissa's home life, which prompted detectives to look closer at her stepfather. The Phoenix Police Department considers Turney to be an "investigative lead" in her disappearance.
A few hours into the search for the surveillance tapes and Alissa's original runaway note, investigators uncovered several homemade pipe bombs filled with gunpowder and roofing nails around the Turney home.
The bomb squad was called and the neighborhood was evacuated. Investigators say they removed 26 homemade bombs, which they say was the largest explosive seizure in Arizona history. They say they also found two unregistered silencers, as well as 19 registered high-caliber assault-style firearms. Mike Turney was arrested for the pipe bombs and silencers, and turned over to federal agencies.
"When they took him into custody, Mike had two pistols on his person. He had seven magazines filled with ammo. He had a knife. He had a recording device," Somershoe told ABC News.
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