The Daily Courier Logo
Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
1:56 PM Fri, Nov. 16th

YCSO: Recent murders not related

PRESCOTT – Three homicide cases that authorities have been investigating over the past four weeks are not related in any way, according to Susan Quayle, spokesperson for the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office (YCSO).

Detectives are working almost around the clock to try to resolve each one of them, YCSO Lt. Steve Francis said.

Francis said that detectives had followed up on a considerable number of leads in the double homicide case that police discovered on Oct. 19 off of Bumblebee Road near Cordes Junction. Brandon Rumbaugh and Lisa Gurrieri, both of Mesa, died from multiple gunshot wounds to their heads.

"A lot of people called in with good information," he said. "Most of these investigations are a process. Some can be solved quickly, and some have to follow the process. We are hopeful that more information will continue to come in and we will eventually solve this (case)."

Francis said that he is unsure whether detectives have found a murder weapon in this case.

Currently, investigators are seekinginformation about an incident that occurred in the late evening, possibly after 10 p.m., prior to Oct. 17. An unidentified man apparently was arguing with another man in the doorway of the couple's Mesa apartment. The man is described as a tall, husky white male in his 40s wearing blue jeans and a white T-shirt.

Meanwhile, the Gurrieri family is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who killed the couple.

At the same time, the YCSO is not disclosing information about how 32-year-old Prescott Valley resident Waylon Walsh died. Gila River Indian Tribe officers found Walsh's body in the desert, 15 to 20 miles south of Tempe, after a dog stumbled on his remains, Prescott Valley Police Department (PVPD) Lt. P. J. Janik said.

PVPD was investigating this case as a missing person case because Walsh's mother reported him missing in early August.

On Oct. 31, YCSO detectives arrested 41-year-old James E. Shepherd of Dewey and charged him with first-degree murder in connection with Walsh's death.

Janik said that a couple of witnesses gave YCSO substantial information that led to Shepherd's arrest. Shortly after Walsh disappeared, authorities found his vehicle in south Phoenix, Janik said. "That was a part of the clue where he was heading," he said.

Janik said it appears that Walsh died in this county and that someone took his body to the location where authorities found him.

Also, YCSO detectives are investigating the death of 41-year-old Timothy John O'Leary of Mayer as a homicide case, Francis said.

However, officials are not disclosing the cause of his death either. O'Leary had been reported missing in early October. Workers from South Cable Company in Camp Verde discovered his body on Oct. 29 near Highway 69 south of Mayer.

People with information regarding these three cases may call YCSO at 771-3278 or Yavapai Silent Witness at 1-800-932-3232.