Jun 12, 2012 10:51 PM
TUCSON - It's a parent's worst fear - having their child disappear. It becomes a nightmare when they learn their child has been murdered.
It happened to the Stevens family over three decades ago.
Their teenage son Craig went to ride his bike in the desert near the Triple T Truck Stop, and never came home.
Pima County Sheriff's detective Kurt Dabb says, "He was last seen by his father riding his BMX bicycle in the desert area he did return home that night and he was reported missing."
On September 30, 1979, the Sheriff's department combed the desert looking for the teenager. They searched on horseback, they searched from the air. Border Patrol and other agencies helped in the search.
Two weeks later, Craig's body was discovered 100 yards from his house. News 4 Tucson obtained crime scene photos showing his bike and where he was found.
Detective Dabb says, "An autopsy was performed and it was determined that he had been strangled."
At the scene, investigators found rope used to strangle the teenager.
Detective Dabb says, "We had physical evidence, we had 88-CRIME tips, we had a number of suspects that were whittled down to one specific suspect," a suspect who kept newspaper articles of the case, and who confessed the murder to another person.
The suspect has been interviewed several times over the years but still says he didn't do it. Detective Dabb: "We have no physical evidence, we have no identifying or witnesses to say he was there, other than this one person who said when he was drunk one night claimed he had killed a 14-year-old boy in Tucson."
However, the rope used to strangle Craig Stevens is being sent back to the lab where a new and improved method of testing may result in a useable DNA profile.
The suspect no longer lives in Tucson. Investigators say he has a transient lifestyle. He was last interviewed in 2008.
If you have any information on this case or any case call 88-CRIME.