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Could A Cryptic Image On A Disposable Camera Solve The Mysterious Killing Of An Arizona Couple?

Brandon Rumbaugh and Lisa Gurrieri were fatally shot on a desert camping trip in 2003. This month marks the 17th anniversary of their deaths, however, and authorities are asking for the public's help solving the mystery.

By Dorian Geiger
Tragic Campsite Crimes Scenes

Authorities are still searching for a suspect in the 2003 slaying of an Arizona couple who were mysteriously gunned down on an overnight camping trip north of Phoenix.

Brandon Rumbaugh and Lisa Gurrieri were last seen alive by friends and family prior to heading out on the overnight excursion into the desert on Oct. 17, 2003, according to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. Now, as the 17th anniversary of their killings has passed, their case has received renewed attention.

Rumbaugh and Gurrieri, who were engaged and celebrating their first anniversary, initially hoped to travel to Disneyland, family said, but instead settled on a camping trip about 30 miles north of Phoenix, according to AZCentral.com

They borrowed a 2000 white Ford F-150 pick-up truck, which they had planned to return the following day. However, they never returned. Their bodies were later found in the bed of the borrowed truck near Bumble Bee, Arizona. They had been shot to death. 

Lisa Gurrieri Brandon Rumbaugh Pd

A $10,000 reward has been offered for information related to the couple’s killing. 

For years, law enforcement has struggled to pinpoint a possible suspect in the murder of the young couple, despite the case receiving national attention.

"They continue to get an occasional call, an occasional tip, but nothing they’ve been able to develop," Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Lt. Steve Francis told the East Valley Tribune in 2004. 

Rumbaugh Gurrieri Evidence Pd

But police do believe they have an essential clue they've urged the public to see. A disposable camera, found roughly 100 feet from the crime scene, showed images of the couple sitting in the truck bed, according to the Prescott Daily Courier

The pictures are believed to be the last known photographs taken of the couple. Investigators are convinced a final image found on the roll of film, a grainy photograph of a light fixture outside an unidentified building, is a key clue that could help identify the couple’s murderer. Authorities remain flummoxed as to where the peculiar photograph was taken. 

A spokesperson for the Yavapai Sheriff’s Office wasn't immediately available to comment on the images or the case on Tuesday. 

The couple lived together in Scottsdale and had recently gotten engaged, relatives said.

"He treated her like a queen," Lisa Gurrieri’s mother, Paula Gurrieri said of her son-in-law, in a 2003 interview with AZCentral.com in 2017. "He really did." 

In 2004, Sonoma County detectives in California, who were investigating the double murder of Lindsay Cutshall and Jason Allen, another young couple who were found shot to death in their sleeping bags on the beach, initially suspected there could be a link to the killings of Rumbaugh and Gurrieri, according to the San Francisco Chronicle Herald

However, California survivalist Shaun Michael Gallon, 40, later pleaded guilty to Cutshall and Jason Allen’s killing, the Atlanta Constitution-Journal reported.  

Anyone with information related to Rumbaugh and Gurrieri’s murders is asked to submit an anonymous tip at 1-800-932-3232.

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