Finding Alissa

Let me first start this article by saying these are all theories and everyone mentioned is innocent until proven guilty. Even though that’s killing my soul inside to even have to say. Now that we covered the whole ‘Allegedly Killed his own Step Daughter thing” Lets move on…

Where could Alissa be? That’s been the question on everyone’s mind since May 17th 2001
My research is based on the theory that Alissa is no longer with us, Alissa took her last breath on May 17th. So were is she resting? What was done with her body? If I look only at circumstantial evidence my gut tells me Micheal knows her resting place because he put her there “allegedly”.

So based of the alleged theory that Micheal killed and disposed of Alissa in one day, then we need to start with where Mike is familiar with in this area. There is a pretty big window if you consider the max length of the time frame from when Alissa was last seen at her school and when Mike picked up Sarah from a friends house. We are looking at a window of 6-7 hours. That’s a big window and living here locally I can tell you in 6 hours we can get pretty insanely far and easily into at least 3 other states and back. So this is were hands are thrown in the air and people say ok well this is impossible. Alissa’s still out there looking to be brought home, but nobody knows were to start. Without any assistance from the police then how do you begin to put the pieces together to try to even narrow down were she may be?

I believe Sarah and the family have the keys to were she is and they just don’t know it. Something I noticed by going through YouTube videos on Alissa and on one video there was a comment from a family member of Alissa’s telling his story and side of events in the comments section of this video. That got me thinking about just talking too the family and seeing what they have to say. Maybe someone will provide answers we didn’t even know we were looking for. So here are some answers I was able to get based on comments, articles and videos.

After reading the comments on multiple platforms, reading articles on her disappearance and her family history as well as the podcasts that covered her stories such as Missing Alissa, Going West and Crime Junkies just to mention a few. From that I was able to compile a list of possible burial sites and narrow it down to eight locations I believe are worth checking out. I broke down each location and why I think they are not only her possible resting place but how it fits into the time line of that day and Micheal familiarity with these areas.

Young is approximately 144 miles and 256 Minutes from Paradise Valley High. Now that’s approximately a 3 hour drive going the speed limit from starting point. That means it’s also 3 hours back which fills our 6 hour window. I myself have driven to the Grand Canyon from the Valley about 20 mins from Paradise valley high and back in one day and we stopped at Bedrock city for about an hour. All in all we did our whole trip in around 8 hours. We also drive faster than most I am sure, but taking in following the speed limit its still completely plausible especially if this is premeditated and Mike has already gone out to his brothers or parent’s property and pre dug her burial spot.

Another point to Young that really sticks out to me is the fact that if when Alissa got in the car and Mike started heading out there with Alissa it may not have alarmed her due to the fact that Mike may have been taking her to a familiar place. Friends of Alissa’s say that Alissa had confided in them that Mike had once pulled over on a desert road in the middle of an unpopulated area and tried to sexually assault her. To that point she may have just been use to that occurrence so she was not thinking she would die if he had chosen a random pull off on the way out there.

So many unmarked roads that lead to open unmanned land to hide a body unfortunately. A fact that living here I never really thought of until working on this case. However I don’t feel like she’s somewhere random in Young. If she’s there she is on a family members property or close to camping and or fishing grounds Mike and his brother use to frequent as kids. I feel if she’s out there she is somewhere Mike has a personal connection to. Again this is where we need interviews with the family. Family members willing to come forward and provide that information would be a massive help. Sarah was so young when this happened its not fair expect her to know all this, but other people in the family do and we need them to start talking.

There are plenty of reasons why Payson is a good starting place. Payson is only 85 miles from Paradise Valley high and approximately an hour and 27 mins travel time from Paradise Valley High. Payson and back to Phoenix could easily be done in 4 hours if driving the speed limit. Something I should make very clear here is that our highways are typically 65 mph but everyone with the exception of the snowbirds goes around 75-85 on the highways, so take that into consideration and cut some time off.

It seems like the Turney family has lots of connections to Payson. Family has owned and sold property there according to my research. Camping and fishing here was a regular activity for the family. Any areas that he would have taken Alissa to that day that she was familiar with such as a family members property or a campground they normally frequented, again most likely wouldn’t have set off any alarm bells for Alissa.

Payson also fits my theory of Alissa being rendered unconscious and killed then taken to a Pre-dug burial site on a family members property. I say this because of all the interviews and articles about that day, none state Mike having any visible defensive wounds. This does not not mean that there were none, I just cant find anything about them if they did exist. My theory is he either rendered her unconscious on the way to her resting place or she walked to her own final resting place with him not knowing what she was really walking into. Payson can lend to the theory that she was already diseased before he arrived and he carried her body to her final resting place and felt comfortable to do that because he was on private property not worried about being seen.

Payson also has plenty of open places to fish, hunt and hike and lots of open grounds to camp too. I personally believe she could be on a family members property, however if not like I said before she is somewhere Mike knows very well which means it’s most likely a place he spent a lot of time as a child or camping with family. There are some campgrounds, but as the family has stated usually they just pulled off the highway and made camp where ever they chose. I still believe it isn’t just a random area. I think even in the case of using the camping area in the disposal of her body is still possible to pre-dig the sight due to the fact that it was nearing the end of the school year. This meant that not many people were out and about in this area in the middle of the day and on Wednesday of all days are going to be out hiking. Depending on the weather that day Hiking may have not been a popular activity as we can reach the high 90’s and the 100’s in May. I think you could totally drive out to one of these trails, walk off the beaten path you are familiar with and dig a hole and come back a day latter and it be there undisturbed and undetected by any passerby’s. That’s to say if he did not disguise the hole which with military and police training I am sure he could.

I keep saying he may have buried her because I do believe he buried her over any other form of disposal. I think he buried her somewhere and may have used Lye as rumored because I don’t see him putting her in water. I use to think water but with all our water being pretty self contained and mostly man made bodies of water, taking her there would not be smart. Payson is probably the first place I would start due to the familiarity of the area and the distance from the starting point being such a short distance that you really could take time to clean up the scene and hide the body and any evidence. May even have time to make a few appearances at local stores in Phoenix before picking up Sarah just to back up the story of leaving Alissa at the house after an argument.

Bloody Basin is another place that needs to be looked at. Of course this area would need to be drilled down closer by talking more with Mikes family and friends that went on camping and hunting trips with the Turney Family. I completely believe the possibility that Alissa is in an area he’s taken his boys fishing and hunting before.

Bloody Basin is 60 miles,2 hours and 9 mins from Paradise Valley high. I can tell you that is a much shorter trip for us locals. We can get in and around that area with in an hour and a half easily. Now depending where you are venturing off to around Bloody Basin you still can be there and back in the time frame we are working with. Around here it’s not abnormal to see a car or truck just pulled off on the side of the road on these desert highways. It’s perfectly normal to see a car parked off the side of the road and hikers trailing off into the desert on their own trails.

With so many hiking trails and not much community surrounding the area you can pretty much pull off and hike anywhere. It wouldn’t alert a passerby to see people walking away into the desert from their vehicle pulled off on the side of the road. Most would just assume they are hiking especially if Alissa is wearing her backpack. If you have followed this case then you know that Alissa’s backpack was missing from her room the day she disappeared yet all her belongings such as makeup, glasses, cell phone, and clothes remained in her room. The backpack and Alissa were never found.

Blind Lake is an area that the family mentioned and one I had heard come up a few times on podcast and articles. It is 115 Mile, 2 hours and 6 mins from Paradise Valley high so another travel distance that fits in the time frame. The family has camped, hunt and fished here and Mike is very familiar with the area so I am positive he even knows little hidden places that only the local hunters and fishers know.I truly believe talking to local hunters at each of these sites would help us determine some good areas to look into.

This is also an are that Mikes brothers are familiar with and if you go off a theory of Mikes brother may have helped hide or transport Alissa’s body than the brother may have even helped plan her death all together. If that’s at all a plausible idea then this is a good spot because of their familiarity with grounds and how secluded it is. It’s hard to even find Blind Lake because all those little man made lakes are now called tanks and there are no available pictures on google of the area so this tells me this area is super secluded and a little local hideaway.

Stoneman lake is very close to Blind lake which lends to it being another area of interest. Not only is it close to blind lake it’s 109 miles and 1 hour and 40 from Paradise Valley high school so it fits with in the time frame. Family members have specifically mentioned this is an area that the family would often camp at when the kids were younger and that Mike is very familiar with this area. There is ample camping and hunting areas around here and definitely plenty of seclusion to not only burry a body without being seen, but could even pre prep a burial spot without being seen. This is also a place had Alissa been alive during the drive out here then she wouldn’t be so alerted since they had been out to this area many times before.

There is a small community that surrounds this lake but small is the key word. This lake is popular for wishing, camping and hiking like all the other locations have in common. As you can see about this is an area that actually is a bit greener and definitely has lists more old service roads that lead to empty vast deserts for miles. The proximity and Mikes familiarity with the hunting grounds makes this spot definitely worth checking out.

Tonto Basin is 80 miles from Paradise Valley High and approximately an hour and 27 minuet drive. There’s a large body of water close by as well as ample camping and hunting grounds easily accessible with in minuets. Jamie Turney is herself stated that both Bloody Basin and Tonto basin gave her the chills when they were kids.

Jamie states that Micheal had once offered to show her where her father had hid some bodies back in the day. Can we just examine that interaction for a moment. The fact that he would so nonchalantly offer that with his niece is pretty telling on their families perception of murder and death. Almost like the people in their lives are possessions and if they do not do as told they just get rid of them. Like a clear threat to the family members to stay in line. Just a side observation that I believe could help us find Alissa’s body.

If this is an area that the family remembers camping in, using their memories of the pull offs they camped at, or where they fished and hunted in this area may very well lead to Alissa’s remains. If this was an area she frequented as a family when her mother was still alive as it seems from the comments, maybe she’s there as a connection to her mother. I wonder often if he put her somewhere that he is able to go visit easily. I ponder at times if all those trips to California by himself were so he could visit her grave on his way. We had no one tailing him, no one even investigating Alissa’s disappearance for 7 years so he had ample time to conceal her body and destroy any evidence that may point to the location of her body.

We are truly not even sure Mike took Alissa home that day as he stated.Him destroying the surveillance tape from that day could be because he did want them to see her and him leaving the house together after the fight. Or he does not want it showing that they never made it back to the house that day. The last fact we knew before she disappeared was that Micheal Turney picked her up early from school that day. That’s why I have mapped all locations from the High School.

Desert Ridge Shopping Center is 4 Miles and approximately 11 minutes from Paradise Valley High. May 17th 2001 the shopping center was being built. The shopping center opened December 2001. In may there was still a lot of construction going. I will add a picture of the satellite overview. You will see that the mall complex is really off in its own little area. More has been built up around it now, but even back then you could drive 4 wheelers through the site and runaround on the grounds during the day and see nobody. There were huge wholes in the ground pre dug for foundations and to run piping and electrical. This site was often closed and desolate during the days as the temperature grew according to the locals.
Some theorize that this was the perfect place to put Alissa’s body as once a property is bought they make sure that a ground study is done and that there are no bodies on the property, but after that there is no recheck or protocol and many locals claim there were plenty of already large open wholes he could have hid Alissa’s body in.

The problem with this location is if her body is actually here, the likelihood of getting the mall to allow a forensic team to come in and look is very low. Like Sarah Turney who herself has stated , the Mall wouldn’t want that kind of publicity and they are not just going to shut their mall down and loose money while we look. This makes for a very good spot to hide a body and as Sarah has said her father is very smart. That’s why this is so hard.
Not only is her father very smart but also has military and law enforcement background. I wouldn’t discredit this location simply because its not easy to prove. Instead use the other 7 locations to tell you if your hunch is right.

Desert Center California is 212 Miles and and approximately 3 hours and 2 minuet drive. This is a mass open area between two smaller towns. There is around 150 resident and lots of open space. This location comes from Micheal Turney himself. When he was arrested for all the pipe bombs and ammo in his home, they found a Manifesto in his safe. In this Manifesto he claims the local Electrical Union is responsible for killing Alissa and that they buried her body out in Desert Center CA.

Many think there is no way he would write where he hid the body, but the man wrote a rambling angry made up story about the union killing Alissa and stated he avenged her death by killing the two men that killed her. So he may be telling us exactly where to look in my opinion. I wouldn’t discredit the area. Now this is the furthest area so it makes the time line tight. However he made multiple trips that month to California by himself. You could theorize that he killed her on the 17th and hid her body in a location he knew she wouldn’t be found then took her to Desert Center a few days later and buried her then on one of his many trips to look for her.

I listened to lots of Podcasts and read many great articles that people have done on Alissa along with my own research these locations are the ones that seem to trend through most of them. I think sitting with the family members willing to talk is the best approach to taking these 8 locations and possibly breaking them down to a smaller pool. Maybe the family will tell us we are heading in the right direction and even help us map some possible routes.

After speaking with local experienced hunters and camper in the area and they say its very easy in any of these spots to dispose of a body as almost every single one of the has ample camping and hunting grounds. There’s also countless trails and pull off on the highways on the way to any of these locations that can be hiked by anyone.

Micheal grew up in this area so he definitely has the leg up on us. That being said I do not believe it is a hopeless search even all these years later. I believe she’s close and when I am driving home looking at the sunset I take comfort in knowing we are looking at the same sky and soon we will find her. We need Cadaver Dogs and Trained handlers to come help us map these areas and help us find Alissa. She’s out there and it’s time she comes home to be laid to rest by the ones that love and miss her. It’s time that the person who took her life pay.

Erin Reed
Sipping On Some Crime Reports

Missing Alissa Podcast
Crime Junkies Alissa Turney Episode
Going West Podcast
20/20 Alissa Turney Special
Kendall Rae What Happened to Alissa Turney

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