FBI drops Arizona fugitive Robert Fisher from Top 10 Most Wanted List

Updated: Nov. 10, 2021 at 1:29 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - After nearly two decades on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted List, one of Arizona’s most notorious fugitives has been replaced. The FBI Phoenix Field Office announced Wednesday morning that Robert Fisher is being removed from the list. The FBI included Fisher on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List in June 2002, more than a year after he allegedly murdered his wife and two young children and then blew up their Scottsdale home. Fisher is the 11th fugitive to be removed from the list “prior to apprehension, death, or the dismissal of charges.”

This image shows photos of Robert Fisher as he looked in 2001, and age-progression photos of...
There are still no answers as to whether Robert Fisher is dead or alive.(3TV/CBS 5 file)

“Although Fisher remains at large, he no longer fits established criteria for continued inclusion on the TMWFL,” the FBI Phoenix Field Office said in a news release. “Extensive investigation, as well as continued media exposure from 2001 to the present, has not resulted in establishing Fisher’s whereabouts, or in his arrest. There have been no confirmed sightings of Fisher since his initial disappearance; therefore, Fisher’s continued placement on the TMWFL is not expected to result in any additional information that would lead to his capture.”

The other criterion for being on the TMWFL is potential danger the alleged criminal might pose to the community. The FBI said it has no evidence of Fisher being involved in all illegal activity since his home exploded on April 10, 2001.

“I’m not happy about it,” said T.J. Jiran, the now-retired Scottsdale detective who worked the Fisher case from day one. He believes it can never have too much publicity. “I believe he’s still alive. I actually believe he’s the John List of our generation. That’s my belief,” Jiran said. “People know he’s out there. They know where to look for a picture of him. ... He’s a monster. It’s that simple.”

Police believe that Fisher slit his family’s throats while they were sleeping. Evidence later showed a natural gas line was cut, and an accelerant was spread throughout the house and over the three bodies, leading to the explosion. Fisher, who was always the only suspect in the murders and the blast, was caught on camera getting money out of an ATM and then never seen again. His car and dog were found near Young, Arizona, days later.

“My personal opinion is time is against us to believe he’s still alive,” said Heinzelman. After 20 years, the Fisher case is still very much active. “I had two different calls this morning. One from California and one from Canada,” said John Heinzelman, the current detective on the case.

Despite the FBI changing Fisher’s status, nothing will change at the Scottsdale Police Department. Finding Fisher is still a priority. “The case is in good hands with John Heinzelman. Not concerned about that,” said Jiran. “By no means does this mean the case is now over or the case has ended. We continue to work it,” said Heinzelman. The FBI Field Office also said the “active investigation” would continue.

Arizona’s Family has followed Fisher’s story -- on the air, online, and most recently on Briana Whitney’s -- for more than 20 years since he seemingly fell off the face of the earth. Nobody knows for sure if he’s even still alive.

Replacing Fisher on the TMWFL

Taking Fisher’s place on the FBI’s TMWFL is the alleged MS-13 leader for all of Honduras. The FBI says Yulan Adonay Archaga Carias is the 526th addition to the list. MS-13, Mara Salvatrucha, is an international criminal gang that got its start in Los Angeles in the 1970s and ‘80s, according to InSightCrime.com. The site describes MS-13 as “perhaps the most notorious street gang in the Western Hemisphere.”