Missing Arizona Mom Remains Identified


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Skeletal remains found in 1988 south of Phoenix, Arizona, have been identified as Julie Grubaugh, an Arizona mom who disappeared more than 25 years ago.

According to Fox News, Phoenix police say the remains were identified as Julie Grubaugh through DNA technology and that the case is now a homicide investigation.

She was reported missing in November of 1986, and a police missing persons report narrative reads, “On November 2, 1986 at approximately 3:00 P.M. Julie Grubaugh was reportedly dropped off by her ex-husband at the Greyhound Bus Station at 550 East Washington Street in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. She has never been seen or heard from again. Foul play is suspected in her disappearance.”

The remains that were eventually identified as Julie Grubaugh were found in April 1988 in a remote field in Pinal County, south of Phoenix, Arizona.

According to The Republic, a daily newspaper published in Phoenix, via azcentral.com, detectives questioned Julie Grubaugh’s ex-husband, Douglas Grubaugh, but he was never arrested in connection with her disappearance.

Police Detective Stuart Somershoe said there were allegations of domestic violence between the couple, however. Julie Grubaugh had left some of her belongings at work, indicating she was not going to leave permanently, and had no criminal history or history of drug use.

Douglas Grubaugh eventually remarried after Julie’s disappearance and was later arrested after he threatened to kill his wife with a gun, according to Somershoe.

In a 2011 paper titled “Cold Case Investigations: An Analysis of Current Practices and Factors Associated with Successful Outcomes,” three authors of the RAND Corporation write cold cases “are among the most difficult investigators confront. For a variety of reasons—lack of evidence, strained resources, ineffective investigation—a case become cold when initial efforts to solve it prove futile.”

But with new technologies such as automated fingerprinting and DNA, some cold cases have benefited from a new, fresh perspective.

Julie Grubaugh was 25 years old at the time of her disappearance.

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