Law enforcement officials made huge progress on several Arizona cold case murders in 2022.
Here’s a look back on some of the unsolved homicides that have finally gotten closure — some even decades later.
Killing of Barbara Kalow, 2005
Barbara Kalow was 45 years old when she was killed in a motel room along London Bridge Road on 2005.
The case remained unsolved until the Lake Havasu City Police Criminal Investigations Unit and Cold Case Squad started to re-investigate the case full-time in 2018.
Through the investigation, DNA results led officials to Stacy Childs, who was living in Santa Cruz, California.
He was arrested in April 2022.
Killing of Rene Dawn Blackmore, 1982
In March 2022, a Chattahoochee County Grand Jury made the decision to indict 64-year-old Marcellus McCluster for the murder of then-20-year-old Rene Dawn Blackmore of Arizona.
In April 1982, U.S. Army Private Blackmore disappeared upon leaving her barracks at Fort Benning, GA to travel to Richland, GA. Nearly a month later Blackmore’s wallet and sweater were found on a roadside near Cusseta, GA.
Months later, Blackmore’s remains were discovered off a logging road a few miles further south in Chattahoochee County. She was killed by a shotgun blast, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
McCluster was identified as a possible suspect within a year, but the original investigation eventually stalled.
This year, GBI agents served McCluster with an arrest warrant at a Georgia Department of Corrections facility near Augusta, GA where he is serving a life sentence for an unrelated 1983 murder conviction.
Killing of Arturo Martinez-Altamirano, 2007
Thirty-seven-year-old Arturo Martinez-Altamirano was found dead in a desert area in Stanfield by hunters in October 2007.
Oscar Tejeda-Mejia was identified as a suspect but was unable to be located until the cold case was reopened by detectives in 2017.
Investigators learned Tejeda-Mejia was living in Mexico and someone close to him was able to get a DNA sample. The DNA sample reportedly positively matched DNA from the murder case.
U.S. Marshals and INTERPOL located Tejeda-Mejia and brought him to Arizona in January 2022 to be booked into jail on a first-degree murder charge.
Identification of Sharon Lee Gallegos aka “Little Miss Nobody”, 1960
“Little Miss Nobody’s” body was found on July 31, 1960, by a school teacher looking for rocks in Sand Creek Wash near Congress, Arizona. Investigators determined the body had been burned and she was likely dead for a week prior to the discovery.
Since then, law enforcement and groups across the country had been working to identify the little girl.
This year, new DNA testing confirmed the body belonged to Sharon Lee Gallegos of New Mexico. Gallegos had reportedly been abducted from the alley behind her home in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 21, 1960, when she was 4 years old. According to reports, she may have been stalked for some time prior to her disappearance.
According to reports, the car involved in her disappearance may have been a dark green early 1950s Dodge or Plymouth with a man, a woman, and two children inside. Those reports say the people in the vehicle offered to buy Gallegos candy and clothes if she got in the car, and when she refused, they dragged her inside and took off.
Officials say they are working to fill in the blanks of who was involved and what happened in the days between her disappearance and when she was found.
*Video in the player above highlights previous coverage of this case.
Killing of Susan Morse, 1989
Susan Amy Morse was found dead in her apartment near Country Club Drive and Southern Avenue around 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 16, 1989.
Maricopa County Attorney documents state that 58-year-old Thomas Davis Cox was indicted in March 2022 following the 1989 killing and another incident involving a reported sexual assault in 1990.
He was recently located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he had reportedly been living, according to police documents. On April 23, Cox was extradited to Maricopa County from El Paso County.
The court documents say Cox was indicted on a total of 16 counts in the two cases, including first-degree murder, sexual assault, burglary, and kidnapping.
Killing of Shelia Jones, 2005
U.S. Air Force veteran Shelia Jones was found dead in her townhome days after Christmas 2005.
In 2022, a man named Latoyi Clinkscale was extradited back to Phoenix from a prison in Wasco, California, where he was serving time for another crime.
It is unknown what exactly led authorities to Clinkscale but ABC15 has learned a DNA sample was secured.
According to court documents, this likely started as a burglary before things escalated.
A close friend of the 42-year-old victim told ABC15 she believes it was a random attack.
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