Killed Without Consequence: How Phoenix Police Left a Double Homicide Unsolved

Lisa Lowery at the grave of her teenage son, Trevor.
Lisa Lowery at the grave of her teenage son, Trevor.
Zee Peralta
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

How does a double homicide with eight witnesses go unsolved? On a warm September night in 2008, Ty and Trevor Metheny were hanging out downstairs at their parents’ Phoenix townhouse with five of their friends when someone banged on the door. They heard it once, then again, and again and again until the door broke open and three teenagers carrying long guns burst into the home on North 32nd Lane.

“Get on the fucking ground or I’ll fucking shoot all you guys,” one of the teens yelled. “Where’s it at? I know you guys got it,” he said, pointing his gun at Trevor, who was 17. Some of Trevor’s friends already had dove off the chairs surrounding the kitchen table where they had just been seated and hit the ground.

“There’s nothing here! We don’t know what you’re talking about!” Ty, who was 18, and his brother both said.

“Get the fuck out of my house!” Trevor shouted, still standing.

Alarmed by the sudden commotion, their father, Randy, and mother, Lisa, rushed down the stairs.

“Is this your son?” one of the three teenagers said to Randy, gesturing toward Ty with a shotgun. “’Cause he’s about to get shot.”

Randy Metheny feigned dropping to the ground, but when the teenager turned his head, he charged at the three boys. It was one of the last things he ever did. He was shot in the stomach with a shotgun at close range and collapsed to the ground. Lisa ran upstairs to call 911.

Ty grabbed a shotgun from one of the boys. Trevor lunged for a gun as well. Their friend, 17-year-old Marlo “Buddy” Steward, threw a chair at the attackers, hitting one in the face and drawing blood.

At that moment, someone shot Trevor. As Ty wrestled for a shotgun, he was shot as well, but refused to let go. Steward was shot four times before he finally fell to the floor.

“Just give me the gun and we’ll leave!” one of the intruders said, trying to yank a shotgun away from Ty. “Let’s go, Fermin!” one of the boys yelled to another. Ty let go of the gun and collapsed. His pelvis had been shattered, his brother had been killed, and his father’s intestines were spilling out onto the ground.

Terrified the attackers would return, the four uninjured teenagers fled the house and sought help. Before he left, another one of the brothers’ friends, 16-year-old Ricky (who asked that his last name not be used), checked on Steward, his best friend, who had been shot in the shoulder, foot, knee, and calf.

“Buddy, what do you need?” Ricky asked.

“Tell my mom,” Steward said.

“Oh God, don’t move, don’t move, I’m gonna get your mom, okay, Buddy? Don’t move,” Ricky said.

It was just past 10:30 that night, September 23, when the first responder arrived at 8031 North 32nd Lane, near Northern Avenue. As the officer walked toward the townhouse, he could hear people inside screaming for help. He opened the gate and saw Ty laying halfway out the door, having tried to drag himself out of the house. The officer saw Trevor laying in a pool of blood, unresponsive.

He walked farther inside and saw Randy writhing on the floor by the stairs. He asked if Randy was okay. “Just shoot me,” Randy replied. Then the officer heard another yell behind him. He saw Steward on the ground with tears in his eyes. “My shoulder hurts,” the boy said.

That night, 27 patrol officers, homicide detectives, and crime scene specialists cordoned off the scene. They interviewed witnesses, transported the victims to the hospital, and canvassed the area. Within hours, a judge signed a search warrant permitting crime scene analysts to comb through the house. They worked through the night, documenting everything inside the home, taking photographs, DNA swabs, and fingerprint impressions. They collected and catalogued dozens of pieces of evidence from the scene, including at least six shotgun shells. They finally left the home 13 hours later.

Police said the case was easy, Trevor and Ty’s mother, Lisa Lowery, told Phoenix New Times. They said the suspects were sloppy and had left tons of evidence. There was blood everywhere, and one of the suspects had bled, too. They didn’t wear masks. One of them even called out another’s name.

But 11 years have passed, and nobody has spent a single day in jail for what happened that night. Lowery knows the suspect’s name: Fabian Santana Santillan. He showed up at her bar once. But Fabian is free, and her son is dead.

Trevor Metheny and his dad, Randy.
Trevor Metheny and his dad, Randy.
Lisa Lowery

When someone is murdered, it should matter. But as years dragged on without answers, Lowery came to learn that isn’t always the case.

As the 11th anniversary of her son and husband’s deaths approached this year, Lowery walked into the Phoenix police records center on Grant Street for the fourth time. She had requested the case file from the murder investigation months ago and was done waiting. They told her the file still wasn’t ready, but that day, Lowery told them she wasn’t leaving until she got it.

For years, Lowery had struggled to get the detective, Steve Orona, to keep in touch with her about the case. To her, it seemed he wasn’t doing anything at all, except lying to her and avoiding her calls. “Anything to get me to go away,” Lowery said.

So for four hours that day, Lowery sat on a plastic chair in the crowded and brightly lit office on Grant Street. She hoped the file would give her some answers to questions she had asked herself for years. Why had no one been arrested? Why was it so hard to get in touch with Orona? What had police even done to investigate her son and husband’s murders?

Finally, a Phoenix police employee walked out from behind closed double doors and handed Lowery a stack of papers. She went through the file, highlighting key parts and taking notes. Then, she contacted New Times and shared the 300-page case file.

Over the past two months, New Times has studied the file and reviewed emails between Lowery, Orona, and Maricopa County prosecutor Eric Basta. New Times has also interviewed seven witnesses who featured prominently in the police investigation.

What emerges is a portrait of a murder investigation gone awry, mostly due to a lack of follow-through by Orona and the Phoenix Police Department.

The longer a murder investigation drags on, the more difficult it is to solve. It’s something Orona knows well, given his appearance on the A&E show The First 48, which follows homicide detectives as they work the critical first 48 hours of a case.

“Anyone who is willing to take another life is someone that needs to face justice. Not only for the victim’s family and the victim, but the community as a whole,” Orona said in his 2004 First 48 appearance.

When Orona was assigned to investigate the murders of Trevor and Randy Metheny, he had 14 years under his belt as a homicide detective, and had spent the past 26 years working for Phoenix police. On First 48, Orona revealed that his younger brother had been murdered in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles in 1991, reinforcing his desire to become a homicide detective.

Orona has since retired and did not respond any of the three times New Times knocked on his door. Once, his wife answered for him, said she could not hear the reporter, then shut the door. When New Times called Orona’s landline, his wife again answered for him and said it was the wrong number. Orona did not answer a voicemail left on his cellphone.

Trevor and Randy Metheny’s murders were two of the 167 homicides that occurred in Phoenix in 2008, and two of the dozens of homicides that year that went unsolved.

From 2008 to 2018, there were 1,423 homicides in Phoenix. Two-thirds, or 949 of them, have been cleared, a designation defined by the FBI as closed by arrest or exceptional means, like a dead or incarcerated suspect. That means a third of all homicides in Phoenix go unsolved. It’s a pattern that holds across the country, where both murder and clearance rates have been in decline for decades. Fewer people are killing each other, but police are solving fewer and fewer cases.

Lower caseloads would give detectives more time to investigate each murder. A 2018 Washington Post investigation found that police departments with lower caseloads tend to have higher arrest rates for homicide.

Though the Phoenix Police Department has nearly 3,000 sworn personnel and a $721 million budget, they have only 28 homicide investigators. Those 28 detectives are each tasked not only with investigating an average of 4.6 new cases each year, but they also often have older, still-open homicides adding to their caseloads. The Phoenix Police Department’s cold-case unit used to have seven detectives. Now, there are just two investigators left to work on the backlog of nearly 2,500 unsolved homicides.

“All homicide investigations are a priority,” said Phoenix police spokesperson Sergeant Tommy Thompson. “It is my experience that homicide detectives become extremely involved in their cases. It is extremely frustrating for detectives when they can’t solve a case.”

A collage and a drawing of Randy made by Trevor are among the bits and pieces of Trevor's life that Lisa saved over the years.
A collage and a drawing of Randy made by Trevor are among the bits and pieces of Trevor's life that Lisa saved over the years.
Lisa Lowery

Lowery will never forget the moment police told her that her son Trevor had died.

When police arrived, Lowery was still upstairs on the phone with 911. An officer told her to shut her eyes as he guided her out of the house. She did. Hours later, as she stood outside the townhouse being questioned by police, she suggested they talk to Trevor, since he would know more about what they were asking.

The officer stopped the interview. They brought Lowery into a van with her sister and eldest son.

They told her that her husband had been shot and was in the intensive care unit in critical condition.

They said her son Ty had been shot, but was out of surgery and stable.

“Then, they told me Trevor was shot, but he didn’t make it,” Lowery said. “It felt like a thousand sheets of glass crashing to the ground at the same time.”

The weeks that followed were consumed with hospital visits and funeral arrangements. Lowery’s friends and family organized a car wash to raise money to bury Trevor.

At the hospital, Randy Metheny remained on life support. Eighty percent of his intestines had been removed. His stomach had been split in half. He had periods of consciousness, but each surgery seemed to take more and more of him away.

Lowery kept the fact that Trevor had died a secret from him. On the day they buried Trevor, someone let it slip. Two days later, on October 18, 2008, Randy succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.

Trevor was Lowery’s world. She kept a journal documenting her interactions with Phoenix police and her struggle through Trevor and Randy’s murders over the years. In it, she writes again and again about that night, as if she might remember something new, something that could help, if only she could go over it enough times. Sometimes she writes to Randy. Sometimes to Trevor.

“Well, it’s been three months today,” Lowery wrote on December 23, 2008. “When you left me, a part of me was taken. I died with you. You are my youngest, my heart, my soul ... I wish I could see you walk through that door again. I wish I could hear you say, ‘Hey, Mom,’ one more time.”

Sometimes, she dreams of him. In one of her dreams, Trevor was a little boy again. Lowery sat on a rocking chair with Trevor in her arms. He turned to look at her and said, “Momma, you know I can’t stay.” Then, she woke up. In another, Trevor was a teenager, about to leave the house to hang out with friends. Lowery begged him not to leave: “Don’t go Trevor, please don’t go.”

Trevor was born on the same day as Lowery, February 22. “He was my 29th birthday present,” Lowery said as she sat on a couch thumbing through photos of Ty and Trevor. “He used to say, ‘My mom doesn’t age, I do it for her.’ Good kid!” she laughed.

At 17, Trevor was creative and sensitive. He played bass in a metal band called Tears of Blood and had dreams of owning his own restaurant. He liked to write songs and poems, to draw and make collages.

“Trevor was always about everybody else,” Lowery said. “Trevor remembered your birthday. If you were hurt, he was there. If you were sick, he was there. When they were really little, if I took Trevor to the store and he got a toy, he’d always make sure Ty got one, too. He had a heart of gold and a smile that could light up the room.”

Trevor had a lot of friends in the neighborhood. On that night in September, police canvassed the area and interviewed people who approached the scene. The case file is full of random, brief encounters, where a friend of Trevor’s approached, learned what happened, and burst into tears. His mom said hundreds of people attended the funeral. Friends still gather at his grave on September 23.

Ty and Trevor were inseparable. People often mistook them for twins. “I used to ask, ‘Trevor, what are you gonna do when you move out, and you have a wife and kids and a family?’” Lowery recalled. “And he goes, ‘Have a spare room for Ty.’”

Ty had just graduated from high school in spring 2008. He was supposed to attend Northern Arizona University, but he didn’t go. He stopped skateboarding. He got a metal plate in his hip where the bullet tore through him, and rods in his leg. The injury puts him in a state of constant pain. He was prescribed painkillers, but once he could no longer get that, he turned to heroin. Ty has spent more time in jail, for drug possession, than his brother and father’s killers ever have.

Ty and Trevor on their 6th and 5th birthdays in 1996.EXPAND
Ty and Trevor on their 6th and 5th birthdays in 1996.
Lisa Lowery

In the weeks following the murder, the investigation seemed to look promising. Everyone who witnessed the attack that night had been interviewed, thanks to the high volume of officers that responded to the scene. All of the witnesses described the intruders as young Hispanic males carrying long guns. And at least three of the witnesses said they could positively ID the suspects if given a chance to see them again.

Then, on October 13, 2008, Buddy Steward saw the boy who shot him.

Steward was looking at the Myspace page of Samantha Egelhoff. Rumors about Egelhoff helping the attackers flee had circulated among the victims’ friends and in their high schools, fueled by the fact that blood was found on a wall just outside her home. She lived five minutes away from Trevor. On her page, Steward saw a photo of the boy who shot him in the leg, Fabian. He clicked on Fabian’s profile. There, he saw a photo of another boy holding a shotgun. The photo was posted on September 22, one day before the shooting.

“I know what I know. Fabian shot me,” Steward told New Times. “I was fighting with him, and I remember him looking at me and saying, ‘Why’d you fight me?’ As if he expected me to just lay down and die.”

Steward told the lead detective in the case, Orona, what he found. Orona came to interview the still-severely injured teenager at his home two days later. It would be three years before Steward heard from him again.

After Steward saw Fabian’s photo on Myspace, he showed it to Ty and another boy who was there that night. They all felt positive that Fabian had been one of the three boys who had burst into the Metheny residence that evening.

Fabian had a minor record. He had been arrested twice, once for vandalism and once for marijuana possession, and was on probation at the time of the shooting. But Orona said police didn’t have a way to do a photo lineup, because they didn’t have a photo of Fabian, Lowery told New Times. Nor, he said, did they have a photo of Fabian’s brother, Fermin, whom police came to suspect was also at the house that evening because one of the attackers had shouted, “Let’s go, Fermin!”

Over a dozen witnesses ultimately were interviewed in the case. Scores of pieces of physical evidence were sent to the lab for testing. Orona interviewed Steward and Ty both before and after they were released from the hospital. On September 30, he interviewed Egelhoff, then 16, who denied being involved.

From the facts of the case, it seems clear that Ty and Trevor had recently begun selling a small amount of weed to their high school friends, and that is what the suspects were demanding when they burst in the door. The cops found a few hundred grams of weed, some hallucinogenic mushrooms, and $644 in cash in a safe upstairs. (The exact amount of marijuana is unclear: Evidence collection slips indicate the two glass jars with weed weighed 448 grams total with packaging. That’s almost exactly one pound. But the slips did not specify how much the jars weighed.)

On October 13, after he was released from the hospital, Ty told Orona that two kids from the neighborhood had come to his house looking to buy weed at 1 p.m. on the day of the murder.

They were two of the three Velasquez brothers, a family Ty knew vaguely from the neighborhood and who lived next door to Egelhoff. It’s unclear which of the three brothers — Netto, Tommy, or Tony — Ty named in the report, as their names were redacted.

They were looking to buy regs (low-quality weed). Ty told New Times he had never seen them all together and didn’t even realize there were three brothers until after the shooting. He told police that the day the two brothers showed up at his house, he thought it was odd, because he hadn’t seen them in months.

Trevor said they didn’t have any regs, so the boys “said they were going to Ricky’s house to see if he had any,” Ty told Orona in an interview. Ricky is a friend of the Metheny brothers, but Ricky and his best friend, Steward, both denied Ricky ever sold weed.

At 4 p.m., the boys came back to the Metheny house. They said Ricky didn’t have any, and insisted again on buying weed. This time, Trevor took them upstairs and tried to convince them to buy a higher-grade and more expensive kind of marijuana than the kind they were looking for. Ty told police he thinks they left without buying any weed.

Yet it’s unclear the Velasquez brothers ever went to Ricky’s as they claimed. Ricky told New Times that he never saw them that day. Steward, who was with Ricky at the time, told New Times he hadn’t seen the brothers that day, either.

“Whenever they were there that day, they said they had people waiting outside, so they had to hurry,” Ty told New Times. “After the fact, I met up with one of them at another one of the victim’s houses. He didn’t recognize me, but I said, ‘Who the fuck was waiting outside that day?’ He just said, ‘Oh, nobody,’” Ty recalled.

Ty pressed further, and said the boy claimed his dad had been waiting for him, and that “he just started stuttering and shit and then he left.”

Trevor and Ty through the years.
Trevor and Ty through the years.
Lisa Lowery

Samantha Egelhoff was also at the Metheny residence earlier on the day of the murders, Orona later learned. He went back to interview her a second time on October 20. This time, she admitted that she knew Fabian, and she said he was friends with “Jessie, Tony,” and two other people whose names are redacted from the case file. The two redacted names could be the other Velasquez brothers, since that was the topic of the conversation at this point in the interview.

Egelhoff told Orona she went inside the Methenys’ house at 4 p.m. with one of the younger Velasquez brothers and his friend Jessie.

On November 4, Orona interviewed one of the Velasquez brothers, though the boy’s name is redacted from the file because he was 15 years old at the time. The Velasquez brother said he visited Steward once he got out of the hospital, and they looked at Egelhoff’s Myspace page together, where they saw Fabian. Steward told New Times it was either Tommy or Tony who visited him, though he’s no longer sure which brother it was.

Velasquez told Orona he knew Fabian and went to high school with him. He also admitted to going to the Metheny household earlier in the day. The night of the shooting, Velasquez said, he saw a bloody thumbprint on the wall near his house, and he told one of the victims about the thumbprint.

The Velasquez brothers lived one door down from Egelhoff — one door down from where the blood on the wall was found. And at least one of the three brothers was friends or acquaintances with at least one of the three Santillan brothers (Fabian, Fermin, and Fidelmar), according to witness statements from the police report and to New Times. Egelhoff was friends with the Velasquezes and Fabian. And she also knew Fermin.

The investigation seemed to be leading toward the possibility that Egelhoff or one of the Velasquez brothers had tipped off the Santillan brothers about the weed at the home.

But the November 2008 Velasquez interview is Orona’s last entry in the case file until August 2011, when he finally administered a photo lineup.

During the photo lineup, Orona had Ty look at five images of random, similarly featured Hispanic males and one photo of Fabian. Ty selected Fabian from the lineup. So did Steward when he was shown the same lineup a week later. About a year later, Orona called Ricky in. At this point, it had been over four years since Trevor was murdered.

Ricky looked at the photos, thinking about how his mother had told him not to put an innocent man in jail if he wasn’t sure. “Something about #2, I don’t know, I don’t want to say if I’m not sure, but there’s something about his ear piercing,” Ricky told police.

“I don’t know,” Ricky added. “It’s been so long.”

Fabian was the second entry in the lineup.

Around that time, police tried to bring in another boy, Adrian Gabriel Lopez, a friend of the Methenys who was there the night of the murder. But in the four years since Trevor’s murder, Lopez had left the state and could no longer be found.

Meanwhile, in Troy, Michigan, where another one of the witnesses, Shane Potrzuski, had moved after the murder, local police worked with Phoenix cops to call Potrzuski in for a lineup. In April 2012, Potrzuski positively IDed Fabian as well.

Still, Orona did nothing further in the case — not until Lowery’s phone call to his supervisor in late 2013 prompted a cold-case review.

Lisa Lowery touching her son's grave.
Lisa Lowery touching her son's grave.
Zee Peralta

Six years after a 17-year-old and his father were gunned down in their own home and six years after a suspect had been named, Orona brought Fabian Santana Santillan into police headquarters for an interview. Fabian didn’t bring a lawyer.

Just after noon on February 25, 2014, Orona questioned the now 20-year-old Fabian about the shooting. Inside Interview Room #1 of the Violent Crimes Bureau on 620 West Washington Street, Orona turned on audio and video recording equipment, then sat down across from Fabian.

At first, Fabian claimed he didn’t know about a shooting during a home invasion in 2008. Then he said he heard about the shooting from a friend, though the friend’s name is struck from the case file.

Fabian acknowledged that he was friends with Egelhoff and with some brothers who lived nearby, though the brothers’ names are also redacted.

He said he used to smoke weed with two people in summer 2008, and he named them, but their names are redacted as well.

He claimed he had no idea he had ever been accused of being involved in the home invasion and said he was only singled out “because he was hanging out with gang members and smoking marijuana,” Orona wrote in his notes.

“The gang he used to hang out with at school were known as Surenos,” Orona wrote.

When Fabian was shown a photograph from his Myspace, the one Steward and others had seen several years ago, Fabian said, “That’s me,” and that it was “taken during the time he was gang banging and smoking weed,” Orona wrote.

Fabian denied any involvement in the home invasion and the shooting and claimed he was being framed. Orona asked him about his brother Fermin. Fabian said Fermin was not involved.

When asked about the photo of his friend holding a shotgun on his Myspace, Fabian said a friend posted the photo, not him, and that he never saw or held the shotgun, but “thought it was a ‘bad ass’ gun,” Orona wrote.

Orona gave Fabian a water bottle during the interview. Fabian drank from it, and Orona obtained his DNA, which he had a court order permitting him to do. Police also obtained Fabian’s fingerprints that day. Then they released him.

One year later, on January 5, 2015, Orona submitted a request for charges against Fabian to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. He asked that Fabian be charged with two counts of first degree felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, and burglary in the first degree.

A month later, the prosecutor’s office asked Orona for more information before deciding on charges. Orona hadn’t listed any DNA evidence in his request for charges, nor had he ever bothered to interview another suspect in the case, Fabian’s brother Fermin.

Lisa Lowery near the home where her son and husband were murdered.
Lisa Lowery near the home where her son and husband were murdered.
Zee Peralta

Emails between Orona and Lowery shared with New Times show that on July 16, 2015, Orona said he was “attempting to locate a suspect [Fermin] to obtain his DNA, for comparative analysis to evidence recovered from the scene.” Lowery followed up by email asking if any progress had been made a year later. On August 1, 2016, Orona said there were “no results from the file stop so far” and said he would “have street crimes detectives look for him so I can serve him with the court order and interview him.”

Another year went by. Lowery asked about the case again. On June 16, 2017, Orona said he was “going to meet with Neighborhood Enforcement Unit officers next week so they can locate Fermin and pick him up for the court order.”

New Times asked the county attorney’s office what information the prosecutor had asked for, but a spokesperson for the office said she could only say that the prosecutor was still awaiting more information in the case and that “the last contact [the prosecutor] had with them on this case was in February of 2017.”

Emails between Lowery and Deputy County Attorney Eric Basta indicate the last Basta heard from Orona, “he was still trying to contact a possible suspect to obtain a DNA sample to compare with evidence DNA.”

It’s unclear why Orona waited three years to administer a photo lineup. It’s unclear why he waited three years after that to interview Fabian. And it’s unclear why he waited five years to write up his reports and interviews in the case — nearly all of Orona’s reports are backdated. Interviews he said he conducted on a day in 2008 were not written up and entered into the system until November or December 2013.

Sergeant Thompson, the Phoenix police spokesperson, told New Times he doesn’t know why Orona waited, either. But he did say “the fact that the involved parties found pictures on social media of other people they believed were involved and began to show the pictures to other involved parties” could “taint the photo lineup process and render it invalid.”

Thompson confirmed that Orona never interviewed Fermin, despite promising Lowery for three years that he would interview one of the men suspected of murdering her son and husband.

Trevor smiling in old school pictures saved by his mother.
Trevor smiling in old school pictures saved by his mother.
Lisa Lowery

Orona never interviewed any of the Velasquez or Santillan brothers, besides Fabian and the 15-year-old Velasquez brother whose name is redacted from the file. He never interviewed Jessie, whom Egelhoff said she had gone to the Metheny residence with earlier in the day. He never asked Ricky or Steward if any of the Velasquez brothers had, in fact, gone to Ricky’s house after leaving the Methenys’ to buy weed, as they had claimed.

Veteran homicide investigators have said that one key to solving cases like these is to speak with the family members or close friends of the suspects. Besides Fabian, none of the other Santillan family members, including Fabian’s parents, two brothers, two sisters, or girlfriend were ever interviewed.

The police response on the night of the murder was large and intense, but the case file does not say that Phoenix police ever called in any K-9s to attempt to track down the murderers who were assumed to have recently fled the scene on foot, nor does it say that police utilized any helicopters to attempt to locate the suspects.

When Basta sought more evidence, Orona asked the lab to test a bloody napkin found near Egelhoff’s house a week after the murder against Fabian’s newly obtained DNA. It wasn’t a match. Though several witnesses interviewed by Orona and by New Times mentioned seeing blood on the wall near the Egelhoff and Velasquez residences, there is no mention of any evidence being collected from that wall in the case file. Steward is adamant that one of the attackers bled after he threw a chair at them.

Besides Netto, the Velasquez and Santillan brothers did not respond to phone calls, Facebook messages or Instagram messages. Certified letters sent to their respective households were marked as undeliverable by the post office. New Times hand-delivered letters to the Velasquez and Santillan residences, but did not get a response. Netto responded on Facebook and offered to talk, but did not respond when New Times called the phone number he supplied.

New Times asked Netto on Facebook Messenger whether it would be incorrect to say he and his brothers are mentioned in the police report as going to the Metheny residence the day of the murder to buy weed, that Tony was friends with Fabian as Egelhoff told Orona, and that one of the Velasquez brothers talked to police and visited a victim after the shooting. Netto said only, “The Fabian part is incorrect,” accused Fabian of wronging him and his brothers, and claimed he then “beat the shit of him [sic] then my brother stompped [sic] the fuck out of him so no we are not friend [sic] with that fucking loser.”

Egelhoff denied having anything to do with the shooting and denied telling the Santillan brothers about the marijuana at the Metheny residence. She told New Times she hadn’t talked to Fabian since eighth grade, but the only reason Steward saw Fabian on Egelhoff’s Myspace was because Fabian was in her top eight. Asked why Fabian was in her top eight list of friends if they hadn’t spoken in two years, Egelhoff claimed she did not set her top eight and that it was “automatic.”

Orona has retired. But the investigation into Trevor and Randy’s murders is still pending. It is now in the hands of cold-case detective Michelle Cervantes, and there are plenty of leads left unfollowed.

“It never goes away,” Lowery said of the pain she has felt since her son and husband were killed. “You just have to take it a second at a time, a minute at a time, an hour at a time, a day at a time. It feels like going crazy. And you want to get out of your skin and run from it, but you can’t. Everywhere you go, it is with you.”

Anyone with information on any homicide investigation is urged to come forward and anonymously report the information to Silent Witness at 480-948-6377 or 800-343-8477.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.