Linda Watson, 35, was last seen alive at the Victory Church in Pima County AZ in August 20 2000 as she attended a church function with her mother, stopped out to eat with her and they returned to the house they shared. She lived only a few blocks away from the church and was supposed to meet with her lawyer on the afternoon of the 21st to discuss getting a restraining order against her ex boyfriend but she never showed. She was also due in court on the 24th for a child custody hearing with her ex husband David Watson. She was trying to restrict Watson's visitation time with their young daughter who she had custody of.
The next day, the 21st, it was reported by a repairman that the back door was open and sheriff's went to her house in the 2600 block of West Curtis Rd. They found her Jeep parked in the driveway and the door to the home open. Her bible and beeper had been left on the table and there were obvious signs of a struggle. A cup lay shattered on the floor, coffee was splashed up a wall and Linda's blood was on the floor. Linda also failed to meet with her ex husband on the evening of the 23rd to pick up her daughter Jordynn from him.
Her mother Marilyn and the child's paternal grandfather had been granted visitation with the little girl by the courts but David was doing all that he could to not allow that to happen. Marilyn was convinced that David had something to do with her daughter Linda's disappearance and the police agreed. They had not evidence of his involvement but he was kept as their number one suspect and her ex boyfriend was also kept tabs on.
Marilyn kept busy trying to find any clues as to where her daughter had gone to and by 2003 the legal battle with david was once again boiling over into court. She had requested a review of the visitation agreement for her granddaughter and she scored another victory. The court ruled that Marilyn could have the child for one weekend a month as well as having two phone calls a week with her. The judge also ordered that Marilyn could have an additional four hours of visitation within seven days of holidays and special days such as birthdays. To try and ensure that the rulings were carried out, it was also ordered that the judicial supervision program work with the families to make sure David followed the rulings.
|Linda, Marilyn and Jordynn|
Shortly after Marilyn had won her case, on May 7 2003, Marilyn, now 63 and her long time friend Renee Farnsworth, 53, were returning from visiting the granddaughter when they were both gunned down in the driveway of Marilyn's home. Marilyn had lived next door to Renee for three years and they were described as inseparable. The pair had taken Jordynn shopping at several stores during the day and had dropped her back home before heading home themselves.
The police found the pair shot to death in the driveway after neighbors reported hearing gunshots in the area. Only three years after her daughter Linda had disappeared after legal battles over custody, it seemed as though Marilyn would pay the same price for challenging David. Renee, worked as a certified respiratory therapist and Marilyn's closest friend, died along side of her in the driveway. The police still could not arrest David for any of the three deaths but Linda's ex boyfriend was not believed to have played a part in any of them by now.
Linda was declared dead in 2006 but her body had not been found yet. Family members still hoped that she was alive but it was a very faint hope, tempered by the wish for closure. The police finally had a major breakthrough in the the three cold cases in 2012. In October 2003 human remains had been found in an undisclosed location in the Tuscon AZ desert that were thought to possibly be Linda's but it wasn't until 2012 that they could prove it. The advances that had been made in DNA evidence allowed them to positively identify the remains as Linda's.
That identification brought the cold cases to the forefront again and on April 25 2015, David Duane Watson was arrested at his home without incident. Watson, 46 and a captain with the Tuscon Fire Department was booked into the Pima County Jail on three counts of first degree murder. he is currently being held on $2 million dollars bail. The police have stated that they are confident that they have the right man as well as enough evidence to finally convict him of the three murders they had believed all these years he had committed.
There was no announcement of his next court date or if he had obtained a lawyer yet. There was also no report as to who will now be caring for Jordynn who is now in her teens. It is unfortunate that it had to take this many years to finally "get their man" but the police have shown that they did not give up on the cold cases.