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Thu, Oct. 17

Cold case: Cathy Sposito homicide now 32 years old
$10,000 reward remains for tip that leads to arrest of murder suspect

Cathy Sposito was murdered in Prescott in June, 1987. Cold case investigators continue to work on the case. (Courier illustration)

Cathy Sposito was murdered in Prescott in June, 1987. Cold case investigators continue to work on the case. (Courier illustration)

On June 13, 1987, Cathy Sposito, a Prescott College student, was murdered while hiking on the Thumb Butte Trail west of Prescott.

At about 7 that morning, the 23-year-old student from Brooklyn, New York, rode her mountain bike to the trailhead and began hiking up the path.

A short time later, she was brutally murdered by one or more persons. Other hikers heard her scream for help, but no one could reach her in time to prevent her death or catch a glimpse of the assailant(s).

Her cause of death was blunt force trauma, according to the Yavapai County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Though it has been 32 years since her murder, volunteer cold case investigators with the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office continue to work on the case any way they can.

Deborah West is one of those volunteers.

“I’ve been reorganizing the case, re-reading things over and over again, seeing if something pops out, and seeing what can be retested,” West said. “Retesting is a big one as things advance.”

In 2017, the YCSO released new information about the case, stating they were in search of a small caliber gun believed to be involved in the murder.

“There is a likelihood the weapon was dumped sometime after her murder on June 13, 1987, anywhere between the Thumb Butte Trail site and the Castle Canyon area of Prescott Valley,” D’Evelyn said in a 2017 news release.

Such a weapon has yet to be found.

Anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest in this case could receive a $10,000 reward. To be eligible for the reward, the tip must be made through Yavapai Silent Witness by either calling 1-800-932-3232 or going to www.yavapaisw.com. All tips remain anonymous.

Follow Max Efrein on Twitter @mefrein, email him at mefrein@prescottaz.com or call him at 928-445-3333 ext. 1105.

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