And there were other strong indications that Goodrum had become increasingly violent in the months leading up to Stephanie's disappearance.

Goodrum's parents requested that a Greenlee County court enter a harassment injunction against their son six weeks after Stephanie vanished. The petition, signed by Goodrum's father, J.D. Goodrum, claimed that Andreas "has threatened to kill those named in the petition" on several occasions over the previous eight months.

In February 1993, "defendant telephone [sic] me at work resulting in extreme verbal abuse, threats to beat me to death and 'blow up' my home, also threat to kill his brother, Shawn Goodrum," the father's petition read in part.

The threats culminated with an incident in September 1993, when Andreas Goodrum is alleged to have physically assaulted his aunt while she was shopping at a Safford department store. "He physically rammed Rose Goodrum repeatedly three times, requiring her to push him away. He then threatened to kill her, J.D. Goodrum and Shawn Goodrum," J.D. Goodrum's petition states.

The court issued the injunction, but for an unexplained reason it was quashed two weeks after Stephanie's body was discovered--at the father's request.

Fifty-five days after Stephanie disappeared, a hunter found her left arm bones on a pathway adjacent to the San Simon River, about two and one-half miles from the roadside where Goodrum said she exited his truck.

Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene. A few hours later, her still relatively intact body was discovered several hundred feet away from the arm bones, in a grove of brushy salt cedar.

While most of her tissue was gone, nearly all of her bones were intact, held together by blackened, mummified skin. A black widow spider had spun a web inside her skull.

That her body was relatively intact after supposedly lying in the desert for nearly two months fueled speculation that she had been hidden elsewhere and moved only recently.

"Frankly, it was kind of surprising to me there hadn't been more loss of tissue from animals," says County Attorney Jack Williams, who saw the remains where they were found.

Valenzuela and other searchers say they had been within 20 feet of where she was found during their extensive searches and never saw or smelled her body. On the day she was found, a DPS homicide technician said a potent odor was apparent from 50 feet.

Medical examiners say decomposition and odor vary with each case and are dependent on many factors including sunlight, humidity, rainfall, the type of animals present and the adjacent soil. Stephanie's body had clearly been at the site for at least some time, because her body fluids had drained onto different spots on the ground, leaving two greasy, odorous stains.

In line with the rest of the slipshod investigation, analysis of the site amounted to little more than a cursory review by DPS homicide technicians, who swept the area with metal detectors searching for bullets and knives. None were found. DPS also conducted tests to determine whether she had been sexually assaulted. They turned out negative.

Mack says the DPS technicians told him or a member of his staff that the body had been there at least two or three weeks. But Pat Wertheim, one of the DPS technicians who examined the body, says no such determination was made.

"As far as determining how long the body was there, we don't do that," he says.

Wertheim added that his "gut feeling" was that "it had been there quite a while."

Deputies took a few photographs of the site and the body, before the remains were transported to Tucson for an autopsy.

Valenzuela contends deputies should have taken extensive soil samples from the area and compared those with samples taken from Goodrum's vehicles, trailers and clothes. No samples were taken.

Moments before finding her body, a deputy discovered a mud-clad pair of black, high-top Spalding tennis shoes on the bank of the normally dry San Simon River. Goodrum, who was unable to recall what else Stephanie was wearing that night, had repeatedly told investigators he was certain that she had been wearing black, high-top athletic shoes.

"Both shoes were placed there, right together, and were up where the river water could not get to them," sheriff's investigator Morris would write in a report that appears not to have been prepared immediately. Valenzuela says it wasn't in the investigative file turned over to him a month after the body was found.

Deputies took no photos of the shoes in the location they were found. The shoes were taken to Matlock for identification, who said they could have been Stephanie's.

Other than that cursory identification, however, no analysis was performed. Oddly, one shoe was missing all its shoelaces, and the laces on the other shoe appeared to have been cut.

Morris' report was not only notable for being late, it also omitted key facts. The report stated Stephanie's body was located "approximately 216 feet east of the roadway" that ran parallel to the San Simon River.

But Morris' report does not mention another Jeep trail that leads directly to the site where Stephanie was found.

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1 comments
strongheartwoman3
strongheartwoman3

Excellent reporting!  Thank you for your hard work on this article!

 
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