Nicole Glass and Melissa Mason

Nicole Glass and her roommate Melissa Mason

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Roommates found murdered. An unborn baby's life taken. It's a case that has baffled police and haunted loved ones for more than a decade.

On Dec. 3, 2010, Nicole Glass and her roommate Melissa Mason, both 27 years old, were found strangled to death inside their home near 40th Street and Thomas Road in Phoenix. Melissa was pregnant at the time, and her unborn child did not survive, making the crime a triple homicide. When a friend went to the home the next day to check on the women, she made the grim discovery. Police say the door to the house was locked and there was no sign of forced entry. "I could handle her death, but can't accept the way she died," Nicole's mom, Rachel Glass, told Arizona's Family. "The last couple of hours of her life had to be horrific."

Rachel has never given up the search for answers in her daughter's murder. Though no suspects were ever named, Rachel believes there had to be at least two men involved in the attack. She says Nicole worked out every day and loved kickboxing. "She was strong," Rachel remembers. "How can you kill two girls?

We asked Rachel how she got through such an unimaginable tragedy. "I have a good man in my life," she tells us. She says her then-boyfriend, now husband, has been her rock. "He was my hero," she said. "Everyone needs a hero at a time like that."

Despite support from loved ones, Rachel said the tragic incident affected her greatly. One of the most traumatic things for her, she says, was the way she learned that her daughter and her roommate had been killed. "We never got notified she was dead," Rachel said. Instead, a friend called her and said "Turn on the TV." Although their names had not yet been released, the killings had already made the news. Rachel immediately went to the girls' home, but was already filled with dread. "I'd rather have done anything else than go there," she said. 

Nicole's dog

"Schnooks"

Rachel says Nicole was an animal lover. Her English bulldog, "Shnooks," was a favorite four-legged pal. She also adored riding horses. In fact, when she was little, she used to say she wanted to be a cowgirl when she grew up. Nicole liked to snorkel and Rachel fondly remembers family trips to Hawaii. 

Family members of the victims have never stopped their fight for justice. "I've tried everything," said Rachel. Her efforts included going door-to-door handing out fliers, visiting places her daughter worked, and staying in touch with Nicole's friends.

Additionally, an electronic billboard in Phoenix shows the faces of the women and reminds all who see it that this case remains unsolved. Rachel says Clear Channel donates the billboard space to Silent Witness when the space is vacant. She hopes that some of these efforts will lead police to a suspect or suspects. The billboards have been up since 2011.

Silent Witness billboard

Silent Witness billboard 

"The Phoenix Police Department has been aggressively investigating this homicide since it occurred in 2010," a statement from the Phoenix Police Department reads, in part. "The Phoenix Police Department will remain focused on the facts surrounding the case and we are committed to solving this crime."

The case remains posted on the Silent Witness website, with a reward of $10,000 offered for information leading to an arrest. If you know anything, please call Silent Witness at either 480-WITNESS (948-6377) or 1-800-343-TIPS (8477). Spanish speakers may call 480-TESTIGO (837-8446). (Click or tap phone number to call from this story on your mobile device.) You can remain anonymous and you might be eligible for a cash reward.

"Some days it's the hardest thing," Rachel says. "I think, 'I'd like to tell Nicole that,' but you just can't. I tell her in my head."

"Nicole is not in any pain; she's not suffering. That brings me comfort," Rachel continued. "God called her home for a reason."


Copyright 2021 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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