New clues in case of missing Phoenix teenager (Part 2)

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by Sybil Hoffman

Video report by Mike Watkiss

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 8 at 4:06 PM

PHOENIX -- Phoenix Police Detective Will Andersen believes, "For any crime to occur, you have to have means, motive and opportunity."

Andersen, with the Phoenix Missing Persons Unit has dedicated years investigating the disappearance of 17-year-old Alissa Turney.

Turney was a Junior at Paradise Valley High School when she vanished on May 17,  2001. Her stepfather, Michael Turney, picked her up early that last day of school and no one ever saw her again.

Andersen told 3TV, "There's no reason for me to believe she ever came home."

3TV has uncovered horrifying allegations about Alissa's childhood.

Andersen said, "She's spoken to her friends, she's spoken to other family members about being handcuffed, about being gagged about being woken up with him on top of her holding her down."

The "him" is none other than Michael Turney. When police searched his home, they discovered hundreds of hours of video and audio tapes.

Among the recorded phone conversations confiscated, Turney is heard discussing why he felt the need to record everything.

Here is the transcript from a conversation Mike Turney had with this adult son.
 
"You gotta keep (expletive) video cameras on all your children all the time. And every conversation you have with them has to be taped. This is the insanity of this (expletive) state. You know my secrets are always told everywhere by a big mouth. Of course there's no foundation for them or I'd be in jail."

Detective Andersen believes one of Turney's secrets involved Alissa.

"My opinion is there was molestation in that family, she was a victim, she was coming to the point, in her 17 years that she was no longer going to tolerate it, she was going to go public with the allegations."

The year before Alissa disappeared, police say Turney made a bizarre move by calling Child Protective Services attempting to discredit Alissa in the event she would report abuse.

"If his daughter, Alissa Turney called CPS to make a complaint of molestation that it was a lie and she was trying to manipulate him into buying her a car," explained Det. Andersen.

Sarah Turney is Alissa's little sister. She launched HelpfindAlissa.com in hopes of getting answers. But in her mind, "It's pretty obvious that my dad's not entirely innocent about every aspect of this entire story. And as an adult reflecting back, it's easier to see and it's pretty shocking."

When Sarah confronted her Dad, "I said 'I think there are a lot of holes in the story. Dad, do you want to tell me something? All these things are coming to light and I'm really confused.' He says that he loves me and he didn't do it."

Detective Andersen doesn't buy it. Unfortunately without more physical evidence, he says his case has stalled. Despite that, Andersen refuses to give up. "He can't be rewarded for being creative enough to get rid of a body that's basically my bottom line."

Turney said the videotape of the day Alissa left exists but it doesn't show anything.

Therefore, he hasn't let anyone see it. Turney has also refused to cooperate with detectives.

3TV requested to speak with Turney but never got a response. Turney is currently serving a 10 year sentence for explosives possession in the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Pennsylvania.

For any tips regarding this case, contact Phoenix Police Detective Will Andersen at (602) 534-2121 or william.andersen@phoenix.gov or Stuart Somershoe at stuart.somershoe@phoenix.gov.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is www.missingkids.com or NamUs at www.namus.gov.

 

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