Michael Turney Was Found Not Guilty of Murder — He’s a Free Man Now
In July 2023, Michael Turney was found not guilty of murdering his stepdaughter Alissa Turney. She went missing in 2001 and has never been found.
The Chilling Disappearance of Alissa Turney
A chilling murder mystery has gripped Arizona, as the death of Alissa Turney remains unsolved. Alissa was reported missing by her stepfather, Michael Turney, in May 2001, according to ABC News. The teenager reportedly got into an argument with her stepfather on the day of her disappearance, and Michael later discovered a note in her bedroom. The room was undisturbed, and the note suggested Alissa was moving to California. Police deemed Alissa a runaway and foul play wasn’t initially suspected.
Alissa’s case was reopened a decade later, with the Phoenix Police Department Missing Persons Unit suggesting an error in the initial police findings. Alissa became a subject of Dateline’s 20/20 when new information about her disappearance came to light. “At the time, there were no signs of foul play or exigency based on the fact Alissa was 17 years old and had no mental/physical health issues,” Sergeant Maggie Cox said (per NBC News).
The Investigation and Trial
Police then turned their attention to Michael after speaking with those close to the teenager. Michael was charged with second-degree murder in connection with Alissa’s disappearance but was found not guilty. Michael’s attorneys argued that prosecutors weren’t able to provide any physical evidence that Alissa was dead or that a crime was ever committed.
Michael’s Life After Acquittal
So, what is Michael up to now? He was released from custody on July 18, 2023, and is a free man. Following Michael’s acquittal, his attorney Jamie Jackson expressed Michael’s concern for the missing teenager. Michael still hopes to find out what happened to Alissa and who was responsible for her disappearance.
Michael appeared on 20/20 and spoke candidly about his stepdaughter’s disappearance, reiterating that he is innocent and has always maintained his innocence. He plans to continue looking for her and has expressed his determination to prove his innocence and find the truth.
Michael’s Relationship with Alissa
Alissa’s mom, Barbara Farnar, had two children from a previous marriage when she married Michael Turney. Michael adopted Alissa and her older brother, John. He had three sons from a previous marriage — Rhett, James, and Michael Jr. Michael and Barbara also had a daughter together named Sarah. Unfortunately, Barbara passed away from cancer in 1993, leaving Michael to raise Alissa and Sarah alone.
The Struggle for Justice
Although Michael Turney has been found not guilty of murdering Alissa, her siblings, Sarah and James Turney, continue to advocate for justice. They started a podcast called Voices for Justices, where they share their ongoing quest for answers about Alissa’s disappearance. Despite the acquittal, Alissa’s siblings hope that someone will be held accountable for their sister’s vanishing.
While Michael can’t be tried again for the crime, his acquittal does not bring closure to Alissa’s case. Authorities are yet to uncover additional information about her disappearance, leaving her family and the public desperate for answers.