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Phoenix cold case solved 40 years after murder and assault

Fernando Calleros was found beaten to death back in 1978. DNA has linked a suspect to his murder.
Credit: Phoenix Police Department

PHOENIX — The expression "out of sight, out of mind" is not one used by cold case detectives. Just because a case goes cold, does not mean law enforcement stops working to solve the case. 

Four decades after 23-year-old Fernando Calleros and a woman were found beaten in the bed of a truck, Phoenix police made an arrest.

Credit: Phoenix Police Department

Calleros and the woman were found June 10, 1978 outside a business on East Illini Street. Calleros was dead and the woman was sexually assaulted and severely beaten.

The original investigation linked finger prints at the scene to Glenn Edward Williams, who was 21 years old at the time. Williams worked and lived in the area. He was taken into custody in January 1979. 

He denied involvement but detectives thought there was enough evidence to charge him with the crimes. Williams was booked into jail but the charges were eventually dropped for lack of evidence. 

In 2019, the Phoenix Police Department Cold Case Homicide Squad began reexamining the case. Advancements in technology allowed scientists to link Williams to the crime through DNA. 

Police said they interviewed Williams again in April 2020 and he once again denied being involved in the homicide and assault. Based on the evidence gathered in 1978 and the new DNA evidence, police arrested and charged Williams in connection to the cold case. 

Credit: Phoenix Police Department

Police asked anyone who might have any information about this cold case or any unsolved crimes to contact the Phoenix Police Department Violent Crimes Bureau at 602-262-6141. If they wish to remain anonymous, they can contact Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO for Spanish. 


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