Lancaster had uncovered Walker's real name after tracking down the other person in the Cadillac that night in January 1999: Spokane, Washington resident Lindsey DeJong, who hadn't been charged.

DeJong repeated a story similar to what she'd told police in 1999 — that the young girl, whose name she allegedly couldn't remember — had leapt from the Cadillac on the freeway after Walker wouldn't pull over and let her out.

"Based on what [DeJong] told me, I believe that Walker was trying to turn Tawni into a prostitute and that they were on their way to a truck stop in Eloy or someplace near there," Lancaster told New Times on Sunday. "Lindsay said she tried to grab her by her feet, but she just went out the window, and William wouldn't stop to help her. It was a very cold-blooded act on his part. She was just a piece of meat to him."

(Police had stopped the Cadillac on I-10 about 20 miles east of the tragic scene after passersby called in.)

William Walker waived extradition from California to Arizona, to await disposition of his 1999 probation-violation case. He did so just days before the dizzying series of events that was about to end with the formal identification of 99-305.

Walker is being held without bond in the Pinal County Jail.

Last Thursday afternoon, authorities at the Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that dental and fingerprint records of Tawni Mazzone matched those of the girl long known as 99-305.

The news was bittersweet to the "many good souls," as Detective Lancaster puts it, involved in trying to identify her, including the websleuthers, the detective himself, and, of course, her family.

"I have no explanation for how things just came together almost overnight after so many years," Lancaster says. "I'm not even going to try to figure that out. It's pretty amazing."

Several of Tawni's family members flew to Arizona over the weekend. Her brother Mike and her father installed a shrine at I-10 milepost 173 as a tribute to her memory.

Suzi Dodt is trying to learn where Tawni was buried, though it probably was at the county potter's field, at White Tanks Cemetery in the West Valley.

Without Dodt's Web site, which she created a few years ago, the odds of Tawni Mazzone ever having been identified would have been very long.

"I am so relieved that she has finally been given back her name," Dodt says. "Now I know a bit about her life, I have met her family, and I know that she was very loved."

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8 comments
Kimberly O'Brien
Kimberly O'Brien

It will be 11 years soon and still Tawni has no justice. That scumbag has gotten away with murder. My heart still aches for Tawni and noone seems to care and make this man do time for what he has done.

JJC
JJC

Sorry about your loss. I see the shrine everyday and wondered who it was, suprised to find it online, hope she rests in peace and you guys get the family innner peace that you all deserve.

Yalena Thurman
Yalena Thurman

I'm really soory that. My family is looking for uncle right now he has been missing for two years now and it really hurting me and his kids. I go to school at Sherman in CA. I was just looking at different things and I saw your stroy so I started reading it and that's why I'm leaving you with this comment... I know how you guys feel cause I lost my grandma last month and she ment everything to me... Sincerly, Yalena ������MAY GOD BLESS YOUR HEARATS������

Debra
Debra

I am Tawni's mother. I have been reading all the news and comments over the last couple of days and can't beleive all the speculation and ignorant comments that have been made by people who only actually know Tawni for a ew months of her life and realy don't know anything about her.

Tawni and I were very close and she she spoke to me about very few people. Her brother and her friends in Colorado were mentioned to me all the time.

On the day that Tawni died, she was in my home with a girl who we beleive was Lindsey DeJong. They were with me at noon in my home and packed Tawni's suitcase and then hurried out. I had a conversation with Lindsey and she should remember it well as I told her Tawni was only 17 and did not work and was a student. She told me that Tawni and her had just met and that Tawni was going to stay with her for a few days and that she would be fine. Tawni and I had an argument the night before and she was walking to a friend's house when we think she may have been approached by Alonzo aka William Walker. He and Lindsey lured her from my home and then when she was in their car on January 1999, the next day, she was scared for her life and begged Lindsey and William to let her go. I do not beleive that Lindsey and William were going to let her out. They knew where she lived and her name becasue they had just left my home with her at noon and the accident was just an hour or so after that time. Lindsey and Alonzo lied about everything. The Pinal County DA let them off after the Grand Jusry asked for manslaughter charges. Jeff Sandler has been ignoring my emails and cals and doing what the Phoenix Police did when I tried to get them to take a report from me about Tawni's leaving home. We would have found her a long time ago if the Phoenix PD had done their job. Now the Pinal DA is ignoring our plea for help as well. So how does Tawni ever get Justice? Lindsey and Alonzo let our daughter die without a name in a hospital without her family and they knew where we lived and that she was just a young 17 year old girl who got in over her head with bad people. That is why they lied...they should BOTH be in jail.

KIMBERLY O'BRIEN
KIMBERLY O'BRIEN

I NORMALLY DO NOT COMMENT ON THINGS LIKE THIS , BUT AFTER WHAT I READ I FEEL THE NEED TO SAY SOMETHING. I AM TAWNI'S AUNT AND HAVE BEEN FOR 39 YEARS. TO SAY THAT HER PARENTS DID NOT DO ENOUGH IS NOT RIGHT. IT IS NOT TIME TO PLAY THE BLAME GAME . I HAVE WATCHED TAWNI GROW FROM A BABY TO A WOMAN. SHE WAS LOVED BY MANY. IF THERE IS ANYONE TO BLAME I GUESS WE SHOULD ALL TAKE A LOOK AT OURSELVES EVEN YOU MARIA. I LOVED TAWNI I GUESS I SHOULD OF LOOKED HARDER TOO. THE PROBLEM IS WE HEARD THAT SHE HAD BEEN SEEN AND HAD BEEN ARRESTED AS LONG AS 2 YEARS AGO. WHY WOULD I BE LOOKING FOR HER IN A MEDEX FILE. AND BY THE WAY AT THE AGE OF 17 AS A WOMAN YOU ARE CONSIDERED AN ADULT AND HAVE THE RIGHT TO YOUR PRIVACY. WE ASSUMED THAT WAS WHAT SHE WAS DOING.THE FAMILY HAS BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH EMOTIONS OVER THE LAST 10 DAYS WITH THE PAIN THAT WE ALL FEEL. MY SISTER HAS SUFFERED ENOUGH OVER THE LAST 9 AND A HALF YEARS. DO NOT BE SO HEARTLESS. YOU OBVIOUSLY DO NOT KNOW MY SIDE OF THE FAMILY AND ALL THEY DID DO TO HELP TAWNI GET ON THE RIGHT TRACK. SHE WAS NEVER FAR FROM OUR THOUGHTS JUST TO FAR AWAY TO SEE. IT IS TIME TO GIVE TAWNI THE PEACE SHE HAS LONG WAITED FOR. AND MY SISTER NEEDS TO LAY HER BABY TO REST. YOU CAN THINK WHAT YOU WANT BUT YOU ARE NOT MUCH OLDER THAN TAWNI. I ACTUALLY BABYSAT FOR YOU WHEN YOU WERE LITTLT. NONES FAMILY IS PERFECT BUT TO SAY SHE WASNOT LOVED IS JUST WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I LOVED TAWNI THEN AND I LOVE HER NOW. IT IS HARD ENIUGH TO SAY GOOD-BYE AS IT IS PLEASE DON'T MAKE IT EVEN MORE PAINFUL.

TAWNIS' LOVING AUNT KIM

Aunt
Aunt

MariaYou are not much older than Tawni. I have watched Tawni grow her whole life and you have no idea what was going on with Tawni, You should be asking yourself the same question. Why didn't you look for Tawni. We never believed she was not alive. If she had died who would ever think she would not have something with her name on it. It is not time for the blame game, My sister loved her daughter, You don't know what you are talking about. This is hard enough to take in as it is. and to be saying such hurtful things is not right. I am her Aunt I guess I should blame myself too. I should of looked harder., But to say I didn't love her is unhuman. We are all suffering from Tawni's death, She had many family who loved and cared for her.She just did't know how to let us love her.

I normally would not comment on a page like this but I have watched my sister for nine and a half years go through hell not knowing where her baby was. She is suffering enough so pleases keep you thoughts to yourself . You were no angel.

Tawni's Aunt Kim

anonymous
anonymous

There was a runaway report filed in Scottsdale.

Maria Guitard Tawni's Cousin
Maria Guitard Tawni's Cousin

I am Tawni's cousin, her father's niece. I am so thankful to so many people who gave so much to a girl they new nothing about but cared enough to never give up trying to give her back her name. The only resentment I have is listening to all the sympathy her parents are getting. There is so much that so many people don't know but should question. But if you ask the questions to yourself it's pretty obvious. The biggest question, why was there never a missing person report? Through all the web groups why where her mother and father not involved in any of it? After nine years has anyone asked what have they done to find her? How when I live in walking distance from my uncle and see him weekly did he not ever mention to us that Tawni was even missing, only that he didn't have contact with her since they moved to Arizona? It amazes me that her mother had custody of Tawni, she was still a minor,which means her mother was responsible for her yet, she isn't being held responsible what so ever for not filing a missing person report, or doing anything to find her so she was left for nine years dead and alone, unnamed, and now lays in an unknown grave and no one is held accountable for anything!! Stop with they sympathy her parents deserve nothing except to feel guilty for everything they didn't do!! There is so much more you don't know. Talk to the family they will talk.

 

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