May 17. 2001. The last time Sarah attorney saw her 17-year-old half-sister Alyssa alive for years. The circumstances surrounding Alyssa’s sudden disappearance haunted Sarah day and night, leading her on a desperate search for answers in the hope of finally uncovering the truth. But as Sarah dug deeper into Alyssa’s mysterious fate, she discovered that the one person she spent years protecting was actually the one she should have feared most 12-year-old sister vanishes, then decades later she stumbled upon a stomach-dropping clue.
Strangely enough, her sister’s disappearance didn’t phase sarah much at first melissa would talk openly and often about her desire to run away to california. So when the high schooler vanished on that may morning, twelve-year-old sarah wasn’t surprised. In fact, sarah even found a note left behind in alyssa’s room, seemingly confirming that she was headed for the golden state. It still hurt to be without her, but at least sarah could rest assured that her sister was safe and chasing her dreams. Surely she’d have to come back eventually, i wasn’t worried sarah told people i was under the impression she was going to be back.
I don’t think her being gone forever was anything that ever crossed my mind. After all, sarah had already seen enough tragedy for one lifetime. When Sarah was just four years old, her mother, barbara strum died from lung cancer. The turning family vowed to stick together in the wake of their tragic loss following alyssa’s disappearance. However, this pact suddenly seemed to lose its meaning.
That’s because before long strangers and friends alike began accusing sarah’s father and alyssa’s stepfather, michael of having a hand in his stepdaughter’s disappearance, sarah was quick to defend him. After all, what kind of person would dare harm their own child sarah’s confidence combined with michael’s standing as a former sheriff’s deputy, helped shift some of the suspicions, though even his fellow officers couldn’t help but feel something wasn’t right for a man who insisted he had no Idea what happened to his stepdaughter, there sure were a number of clues to the contrary. For starters, on the day, elissa vanished, michael told police. He taken her out for lunch, though he dropped her back home after the two had an argument. He then claimed that fuming from their fight alyssa had run off to stay with an aunt who lived in california.
When police contacted said aunt, she said her niece never showed a week later, michael reached out to police again telling them melissa had called him from a pay phone in riverside california, before the police officer, could ask him any follow-ups. He immediately ended. The call was this: the erratic behavior of a grieving father, or was there perhaps something more with no formal evidence against michael the police began pursuing other leads. No, these two failed to turn up anything on alyssa’s whereabouts frustrated. Sarah decided there was no point in waiting around any longer.
It was time to take matters into her own hands, and so sarah became her own private eye, creating a website dedicated to finding justice for alyssa and searching for answers. However, she could yet time and time again her findings only seem to add more weight to the whispers she’d been denying for years. Maybe her father had done something to her sister. After all, in her late 20s, following years of investigation, it finally became clear to sarah that her father was in fact capable of this crime. For me, it was kind of like a switch, but if she was going to prove michael’s guilt, she knew she couldn’t do it alone.
That’S why, along with a podcast called voices for justice, sarah began making tech talks to help bring her investigation to a wider audience. To her surprise, the video soon went viral, including one that actually got local officials to reopen alyssa’s case in a disturbing home video snippet from 1997 a 13 year old alyssa can clearly be heard. Telling sarah, that quote, dad is a pervert authorities, were quick to follow up on these claims with some of alyssa’s friends who revealed a sickening truth in addition to verbal abuse, melissa’s friends alleged that michael had been sexually abusing her for years as well. Finally, officers decided it was time to seek a search warrant, though what they found inside his home was far more sinister than they ever expected, along with dozens of homemade bombs. Officers discovered a 97-page manifesto detailing a plot to commit mass murder at the headquarters of a local electrical worker.
Union michael was convicted of possession of unregistered destructive devices and served seven years in prison. No for sarah, this wasn’t enough. That’S why, following her father’s release, sarah only continued to press onward with her mission, eventually leading police to even more incriminating evidence. Officers discovered that michael had actually installed surveillance cameras throughout his home during the time alyssa was living there and he even monitored all calls going in and out of the house. But perhaps the worst discovery of all was that a number of homemade contracts between michael and alissa, including one from 1997, stated michael, had never molested her.
After years of uncertainty, law enforcement and sarah finally had all they needed. On august 19, 2020, a grand jury indicted 72 year old, michael turney, on one count of second degree murder. The case is set to go to trial sometime in 2021, though michael just like always still maintains his innocence. Authorities, however, believe michael was obsessed with his stepdaughter, with even close relatives saying he treated her far different than other children. Even sarah he’d even confessed to spying on alyssa at work, using a pair of binoculars on multiple occasions.