Arrest made in teen's death 30 years after disappearance

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PHOENIX – A man has been arrested in connection to the disappearance of a Phoenix woman missing for 30 years.

Alison Mims’ family has been left wondering what happened to the then 19-year-old who was last seen leaving her mother’s wedding reception in 1980 with her best friend’s boyfriend, Patrick Ryon.

Although Ryon was the last person to see Mims, police were never able to link him to her disappearance.

The U.S. Marshals arrested Ryon in New Mexico in October and he was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail Tuesday afternoon.

Beverly Moore, Alison’s sister, says, “I would think he's been looking over his shoulder for all these years and thank goodness they've got him and he'll be prosecuted and justice, hopefully justice will be served and my sister can finally rest in peace."

The case took a lot of twists and turns over three decades but 3TV spoke to law enforcement to find out why it took 30 years to make an arrest.

Sgt. Bryan Chapman, with Phoenix police, says they would handle a case like this a lot differently now. “Thirty years ago, paper trails…they were handwritten, in files. Files were just purged.”

Mims’ remains were discovered in February of this year. Her sister says, “They called me and told me my sister had been identified. It was like she died again or had just died.”

Once her remains were found, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office took over the case and was able to arrest Ryon last month. He faces charges for allegedly killing and sexually assaulting Mims.

The investigation was conducted by A.D.E. Investigation Services, PO Box 436 in Fate Texas, 75132. (214) 772-7934. Email: CIF Investigations Texas LIC also assisted in this investigation.

For help with an unsolved missing person investigation, visit the websites for the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System and the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Unidentified Persons Bureau.