Last November, I spoke with Sarah Turney about a case involving her sister Alissa Turney, and recently we got a chance to hear her side about what’s been going on since then. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, stop right here and go back to listen to Episode 56: Missing: Alissa Turney and Episode 57: Update: Alissa Turney.
*This is not an Episode*
Some things are still up in the air. Sarah said she reached out to the coroner, but that she hasn’t heard any news about the bones that were found or if they have anything to do with Alissa’s case. And she said she’s had pretty much the same result for using ground-penetrating technology to screen the shopping center where Alissa’s body could be. Sarah told us that the shopping center’s management company will not return any of her calls or emails.
Her interaction with the Phoenix police was described by Sarah as rocky, to say the least. She said the police told her to go out and gain media attention, and that’s exactly what she’s been doing. She has launched her own blog, been a part of several podcasts, and has plans to start her own soon. But despite her efforts, Sarah tells us that the police have refused to participate in any media opportunities.
In early 2018, Sarah says she was promised that billboard advertisements would run to help facilitate media attention, but not one has run yet. When she told the police she’d received 100,000 signatures on a petition to demand her father go to trial for her sister’s death, Sarah says they told her they didn’t care if she got 1 million signatures, it wouldn’t change anything.
“They have become colder than ever,” says Sarah.
Since the episodes aired, she says she had a blunt, uncomfortable conversation with the commander of the unit. Sarah said she had to point out what she saw as lies that the commander told her about the case and about promises that were made; things she says they have recordings of, items that she said were sent by email.
“I can’t rely on them to communicate the truth, and that is a really awful and terrifying feeling,” she says.
Sarah thinks there is something else going on. She believes there is something they don’t want the public to know. Why would a police department allocate 10 years of resources to a single case to drop it a week before the person of interest was to be arrested, Sarah wonders.
Sarah told us that a representative at the State Attorney’s office even stated that their office requested the Phoenix Police to submit this case for prosecution, but they apparently received no answer.
In the meantime, Sarah’s doing exactly what she said she was told to do to help her sister: get attention. She says she’s realizing that the story is starting to focus on the police more than she thought it would when she started. But she wants them to know that after she gets justice for Alissa, she intends on fighting for others who are entangled in the detrimentally broken system and hopes to reform that system itself.
Sarah wants them to know that she isn’t backing down or going away. They will be dealing with her for the rest of their careers.
“This is their 9-5, but this is my life. I can’t stand the thought of another person going through what they’ve put me through.”
There has been one update to Alissa’s case, but Sarah can’t divulge details since it could compromise the case. But she wants people to know that the movement is working and the police and the state are finally listening. She asks that we don’t stop. Now is the time to keep the pressure on, now more than ever.
“It’s incredible to see how many people have been affected by Alissa’s story, and I realized that I have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of other people with similar struggles.”
Sarah’s ultimate goal is to develop a network of resources to help people like herself fighting for justice, so they don’t have to start from scratch. She hopes to establish a one-stop-shop that would include lawyers, counselors, police personnel, marketing experts in a single organization.
“What I have gone through has been nothing short of hell. No one should have to do what I have done in the name of justice.”
Sarah’s petition is up to 133,535. If you had an hour to listen to the podcasts and a few minutes to read this update, then you have two minutes to sign the petition. You owe it to Sarah to help get her sister justice.