Phoenix police to search landfill for missing woman’s body
PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix police on Monday plan to begin what could be a nine-week search of a landfill for the remains of a missing 34-yeear-old woman believed to be a homicide victim, the police department announced Wednesday.
Christine Mustafa was reported missing May 11, and the department said in a statement that investigators believe her body is at the landfill in the desert southwest of Phoenix.
About 30 officers from various agencies will conduct the search from daybreak to late afternoon Monday through Friday, with additional officers acting as team leaders and safety officers, the department said.
“After exhausting all other possibilities, the detectives concluded that Christine’s body is most likely located” in the landfill, the statement said. “The area of the landfill (where) she is believed to be was identified.”
Ex-boyfriend Robert John Interval on June 27 pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. His trial is scheduled for Feb. 22.
Family members told police that Mustafa feared Interval and planned to leave him. Police checking on Mustafa found her car, purse and cellphone at the couple’s home.
Authorities unsuccessfully searched a Phoenix-area landfill after a 5-year-old Glendale girl’s body was dumped on 2011 after she was beaten, neglected and confined to a closet.
Jhessye Shockley’s mother, Jerice Hunter, was convicted of first-degree murder and child abuse and sentenced to life in prison.
The daughter’s body was never found.