Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Tue, Aug. 11

Leads dry up in 1999 double murder case

Nearly five years after a double murder occurred in Winslow, state police are no closer to finding the murderer or the weapon used.

With leads drying up, the Arizona Department of Public Safety is offering a $5,000 cash reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction in the case. Anyone who might have information about the case can remain anonymous.

Sometime between Sept. 11 and 16, 1999, a double homicide occurred at 530 W. Route 66 at the Westerner Motel in room 22. Both victims, Jeanette Yazzie and David Daniel Wilson, received multiple stab wounds and were declared dead at the scene.

According to DPS Detective Thomas Perkins, Yazzie and Wilson spent most of their time in room 22 attending a party, along with several other partygoers. The couple was last seen alive on the afternoon of Sept. 11, at around 1 p.m. in the room, which was registered in Wilson’s name.

A possible witness, Abraham Nelson, told police he saw a Native American male leaving the complex on that afternoon around 1:30 p.m. “walking fast and looking behind him.” He could describe the man only vaguely and told police the man was carrying a shirt as if he was hiding something.

At approximately 2 p.m., Nelson returned to room 22 and knocked on the door several times with no answer. Nelson described the room as being locked with the curtains closed. Nelson told police he noticed a windowpane on the bottom left corner was open. At approximately 7 p.m., Nelson returned to room 22 and knocked several more times with no answer.

The following morning, Nelson returned to the room and attempted to arouse the victims to come to the door with no answer. That afternoon, Nelson returned to the Navajo Nation.

On Sept. 16, at 4:30 p.m., members of the Navajo County Major Crime Apprehension Team went to the Westerner Motel to serve an arrest warrant to a guest in room 21. As the members approached, they detected a strong foul odor coming from room 22.

They obtained a key from the motel manager and entered finding two deceased bodies inside the room. The bodies were later identified as Wilson and Yazzie.

Yazzie was found lying on the bed with her feet firmly on the floor with multiple stab wounds to the upper body.

Wilson was located on the floor next to the bed with multiple stab wounds to the upper body. There were no signs of forced entry into the room and nothing was stolen. Police canvassed the area for any witnesses but located no one with any useful information.

“As of now, there are several possible suspects in the case, but we need the public’s help in putting the pieces together,” Perkins said.

What bothers police most about this case is that the description of the suspect was vague and leads have dried up, Perkins said.

“We would hope that anybody with any information who didn’t dare come forward back in September 1999 would be willing to talk to someone today,” he said.

Perkins said police believe they know what kind of weapon was used but never found the actual knife. If the murder weapon is found, DNA testing can match it to the crime.

If you have information that could help police, call the DPS Criminal Investigations Office in Flagstaff at 1-928-773-3604 and ask for Det. Thomas Perkins or the Navajo Division of Public Safety at 1-928-283-3134 and ask for Investigator Tom Farrell.

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