PHOENIX - Phoenix police are warning residents in a Maryvale neighborhood about a string of brutal murders in the area.

One of the latest victims, Maleah Russell was just 12 years old when she, her mother -- 33-year-old Stefanie Ellis -- and close family friend 31-year-old Angela Linner were shot outside their home while listening to music.

It happened early Sunday morning near 62nd Avenue and Berkley Road.


“I'm trying to figure out why they did it,” said Ellis' father, who asked us to conceal his identity out of concern for his family's safety. He said the killers struck without warning.

“This was straight-out murder. Straight out murder,” he said. “They [the suspects] came from behind, they [the victims] didn't even know what hit them. They can do that to anybody, anywhere and they're still out there,” he said.

His daughter Stefanie, who was the only one to survive the attack, is now fighting for her life in the hospital.

This case is now one of four unsolved murders police are turning to the public to help solve.


“In these four incidents detectives have not been able to identify a motive yet and that's concerning for us,” said Sergeant Jonathan Howard, a spokesperson for the Phoenix Police Department.

On Tuesday afternoon, Phoenix police officers went door-to-door handing out Silent Witness fliers with case information.

SILENT WITNESS FLIER: Manuel Castro Garcia

Their goal was to make sure residents are aware of the recent crimes while also looking for leads.

Investigators say in all four of the cases, unidentified suspects shot and killed the victims as they were standing outside or sitting in a car in the front of their homes.

“There are some similarities that we're working right now but also some differences, so we have very limited witness information,” Howard said.

Police said they are increasing patrols in the area and are actively investigating each case.

SILENT WITNESS FLIER: Diego Verdugo-Sanchez

As for Ellis' father, he’s holding onto hope the suspects who devastated his family will be caught and, even more importantly, that his daughter is able to pull through.

“All of it hurt me, but if she doesn’t make it I don't know what I'm going to do,” he said.

If you have any information about these cases you’re asked to call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.