Court date set for Apache Junction cold case murder suspect

LOGO AJ AJPD

 

Joseph Terrigino, 54, will appear Dec. 1 in Pinal County Superior Court to face charges in connection with a murder case that took place in 1988 in Apache Junction, Tiffany Davila, spokeswoman for the Pinal County Attorney’s Office, said in an e-mail response to questions.

He also was scheduled to appear in court Sept. 28 for a status conference hearing, Ms. Davila said.

Mr. Terrigino was arrested in Kentucky by members of the Apache Junction Police Department Cold Case Unit on March 17, 2014, on the charge of the murder of Diane McQuiston, 40, of Apache Junction, according to a press release issued about two weeks after the suspect’s arrest.

The case had been reopened for investigation in 2013, according to the release.

The case dates back to Oct. 7, 1988, when the AJPD responded to a call of a deceased person at 241 S. Main Drive in Apache Junction, according to the release. An employee of a water company had discovered the decedent while working on the property and called the police department.

According to a story that appeared in the Oct. 26, 1988, issue of the Apache Junction Independent, the employee and a neighbor allegedly had heard gunshots coming from the home before finding the fatally injured woman.

Officers determined the female subject, identified as Ms. McQuiston, was a victim of a homicide. According to the news article, police determined the victim was alone in her home at the time of the incident, and there were no signs of forced entry into the home.

The shooting death marked the community’s fifth homicide in 1988, according to the news article. The article quoted then Apache Junction police Lt. Louie Garcia as saying the only motive investigators had at the time “appears to be a drug-related incident.”

The case was investigated, numerous leads were developed and follow-up interviews were conducted, according to the press release issued in 2014; however, the case lacked significant lead information and went unsolved for many years, according to the release.

In November 2013, the AJPD Cold Case Unit reviewed the case file and reopened the case. Investigators reviewed voluminous documents, re-interviewed subjects and conducted a new investigation into the then 26-year-old homicide.

After months of work, the investigators had gathered enough information to obtain an arrest warrant for a suspect living in Kentucky.

The police department reminds the public that all persons are presumed innocent until found guilty by a court of law.

The Apache Junction Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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