Desert Springs couple still missing

Search party volunteers dig up the septic tank and pop the top to rule that area out as a place where the bodies of the missing Desert Springs couple, Susan and Jerry McFalls may have been buried. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

Susan and Jerry McFalls family members, neighbors, concerned friends, volunteers and Fugitive Recovery Experts all concur that they feel as if the Mohave County Sheriff’s Officers either don’t care or are too incompetent to handle the Desert Springs missing couple case; they even think it may be a little of both.

Community members are outraged at their lack of attention to the case and wonder if the sheriff’s office has the same enthusiasm for every case they work. They’re even talking about revisiting their past decisions when attending the voting booths in the future.

After Mohave County concluded its initial investigation of the McFalls’ property, they haven’t gone back unless called. A new investigator on the case, David Bounsall, feels that crucial evidence has been overlooked.

Investigators found what appeared to be a bloody mattress cover at the bottom of the burn pile in the back yard. The cover had been sitting in the pile for more than 50 days and a very large stain, although compromised by weather and partially eaten by animals, looked like blood.

When searching the driveway/parking area the investigator recovered two .45 shell casings, neither of the missing couple owned a .45.

There were two bullet holes in the corner of a backyard shed that Jerry McFalls used as his man cave and spent a great deal of time in; the holes appeared to be made by a .380. The trajectories of both holes matched and were in close proximity to one another. The positions of the holes indicate that they were made by someone shooting from a supine/defensive position on the ground.

Sherriff’s deputies claim that the holes were made at two different times and quite some time apart. Bounsall said with the defensive position, same trajectory, identical sized holes and the fact that most shooters double tap their weapons; the odds that those bullet holes were made at different times is about as high as winning the lottery. Sheriffs also say that what appears to everyone else to be blood just looks like rust. Bounsall said, “It could be, but not many animals go out of their way to dig something up so they can feast on rust.”

David Bounsall, Federal Fugitive Recovery Expert, uses a long stick and hook to search through the septic sludge on Saturday, March 17, after volunteers located and dug up the tank. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

After the Sunday, March 10. search of the property and the installation of security cameras, the video caught someone at midnight looking in the bushes around the paved walkway leading to the McFalls house.

“There was clearly some beam of light carefully scanning the ground and bushes, as if someone were searching for something and a flash of denim on a leg and the trespasser was gone,” Bounsall said. “That’s the best thing they could have done because now we know someone’s sweating about our work and came back to the scene, climbed a locked fence and gate, so they could find the additional evidence before we did. That also tells us that the perpetrators are still in the area; heck, the trespasser may have been looking for the bullet casings we already found.

“Now we know they’re nervous and it’s just a matter of time before prosecutions ensue. Mohave County may be giving up this fight but the family and I never will, not until the McFalls are found and the family can gain some closure on this entire tragedy. Our suspects and persons of interest haven’t changed one bit, the more we see, hear and discover, the more we’re sure we are on the right track. We will find them and we will see that justice is served, not just for the McFalls but for the entire community.”

A steady stream of tips continues to come to the family, friends and investigator. The ones they’re paying particular attention to initially came from their other person of interest. Bounsall is very eager to get a face to face meeting with the person of interest. Investigators have received a brand new tip about a trailer, possibly missing from the McFalls residence since the time of their disappearance and he wants more information.

So far Bounsall has reached out with no response, which also leads him to further believe the person of interest may have something to hide by texting the family rather than talking to them face to face; there’s no chance they could detect guilt or nervousness simply from a text message but the actions are extremely suspicious.

There’s been tremendous progress on the case, volunteers dug up parts of the McFalls property all week, ruling out locations where the bodies may have been buried.

Activity next door during the search also seemed suspicious to the investigators as well as to the casual observer. Volunteers stated, “The neighbors were spinning tires in and out of their driveway all day long, coming and going for what appeared to be no reason, pulling in and out, staying in the vehicle as if they were keeping track of what we’re doing and checking up on us; then they’d leave again.

“Nobody went in or out of the house; they/he just pulled in and out of the driveway in an SUV like maniacs. Spinning tires, sitting there looking at us and then leaving again. They were back and forth many times, it was very odd behavior.”

Bounsall asks that all community members reach out with any and all information you may have, no lead is too small to overlook or too insignificant to follow, they all matter a great deal when it comes to finding this couple. Contact the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office at 928-753-0753. A $5,000 cash reward is offered for information leading to the discovery of the bodies. $5,000 is also being offered for any tips that lead to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

The community search continues again this weekend, March 24. Those who wish to help can meet the group at the Beaver Dam Lodge Saturday at 9 a.m., the new search locations will be disclosed at the meeting point that morning.

After the video footage was discovered and investigators now know without a shadow of a doubt that someone, most likely the perpetrator, climbed a locked fence to retrieve something whether they found it or not is unknown but they do know that whoever did this is still in the area. Bounsall encourages everyone to keep away from the McFalls property, especially alone, the persons responsible are extremely dangerous and he wants those who are helping to remain safe.

Comments

  1. Sonny Graham says:

    The location has changed from the Beaver Dam Lodge to the Fire Department at Desert Springs, per the Missing Help find Susan and Jerry McFalls Facebook page.

    The Lodge has a prior event planned.

  2. Gay Barnes says:

    Could the FBI be contacted since the loca LEOs (law enforcement officers)aren’t interested in working the case?
    They appear to have no forensics or advanced investigation training or tools! Have been following the case closely, and certainly want closure for the family.

    • David Bounsall says:

      The FBI Lacks jurisdiction in this case. And for the record, the local Deputies have been very involved and supportive this entire time. However, it is the Detectives in Kingman AZ that are the focus of this article. Again, this is not regarding the local Deputies.

      • Len Bingham says:

        It is interesting that you say the FBI does not have jurisdiction because one of the Grandsons was questioned by an agent and left his card so I could talk to him later, which I did. If they are not investigating now, they were in the beginning.

  3. Rena Moerman says:

    Perhaps part of the Mohave County Sheriff’s problem is the lack of support from the Board of Supervisor’s in approving funding personnel in the Department. This part of Arizona only has 2 deputies to cover here and Colorado City. We should have 4. It is hard to fill vacancies as we pay less than our neighbors. I do not know if it is a fact but it is possible that the detective department also is extremely short handed.
    I certainly pray that the McFalls are found soon and whomever is responsible is caught and justice served.

    • Teri Nehrenz says:

      You are correct. Part of the problem is that we have two sheriffs to cover a territory that would take them a full four hours just to get back and forth from, that’s not giving them any real time to patrol or handle anything that happens on their shift. I also believe that investigations such as this might be slightly out of the Kingman Detectives’ league.

  4. Jud Hendrickson says:

    In the beginning a search warrant was executed on a neighbor’s property. What was the probable cause for this warrant? I have heard nothing about this?

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