Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mom missing since 2000 found dead, was murdered

http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/mom-missing-since-found-dead-was-murdered/article_5430a8ea-b286-563a-9e83-ee6bcc60e0a4.html

June 12, 2012 12:01 am  •  Kimberly Matas Arizona Daily Star

The body of a Tucson woman who disappeared in 2000 has been found, and the medical examiner has determined she was slain, according to a news release issued Monday by the Pima County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators are tight-lipped about the case, which has a connection to a 2003 double homicide in Tucson. They would not reveal when or where Linda Watson's remains were found or how long they have been at the office of the Pima County Medical Examiner.

Watson, 35, disappeared after a friend drove her home from a Sunday night church service in August 2000. After Watson failed to pick up her daughter from the home of her ex-husband the next day, sheriff's detectives investigated. They discovered the door to Watson's home, in the 2600 block of West Curtis Road, was unlocked. Inside they found spilled coffee and a shattered mug as well as traces of Watson's blood.

Left behind were Watson's car, pager, Bible and purse.

After Watson's disappearance, her mother, Marilyn Cox, 63, took her former son-in-law to court and won the right to unsupervised visitation with her young granddaughter. However, two months after Cox - as well as the little girl's paternal grandmother - were granted unsupervised visitation with the then 6-year-old, Cox was gunned down in the driveway of her daughter's home where she had been living. Also killed in the drive-by shooting was her neighbor, RĂ©Nee Farnsworth, 53. The homicides remain unsolved.

Officials declared Watson dead in 2006.

It could be weeks before Pima County sheriff's detectives are prepared to release details about when and where Watson's remains were discovered or the manner of her death, said Sgt. Dawn Barkman, a department spokeswoman.

Contact reporter Kimberly Matas at kmatas@azstarnet.com or at 573-4191.