At large: Man who murdered Tempe woman in 1979 escapes from Phoenix area halfway house

It has been 44 years since a Tempe woman was murdered in her home, but her killer is now on the run, after escaping a halfway house.

Mary-Rita Yates was 39 years old when she was stabbed to death on Dec. 3, 1979.

"By stabbing her at least five times and cutting her throat, it was unbelievable," said Yates' daughter.

Yates' killer, Daniel Cahill, was sentenced to 25 years to life, but on Valentine's Day, he allegedly cut his ankle monitor and has not been located by the Arizona Department of Corrections Rehabilitation and Reentry since.

"I am fearful that another family will have to endure the same pain and horror that we did," said Yates' brother, Gregory Meyer.

"I'm in just complete disbelief that they could allow someone with his rap sheet to be taken out on house arrest," said Yates' daughter.

Yates' daughter described her mother as a vibrant and loving person who worked at the Phoenix radio station KTAR.

"She was in the prime of her life," said Yates' daughter.

KSAZ Mary-Rita Yates 021624

Mary-Rita Yates

Yates' daughter was 19 years old when Yates was murdered.

"The fact that she couldn't be at my wedding, or at the birth of my four children. I think all the time about what my life would be like if I had my mom," said Yates' daughter.

At a December 2023 parole hearing, Cahill showed no remorse. The victim's children and grandchildren were in attendance.

"He said if he had to do it all over again, he would do it the same way," said Yates' daughter. "Why didn't he get life in prison if we have a lifetime of loss?"

Daniel Cahill

Daniel Cahill

Around 9:30 a.m. on Valentine's Day, an alert was sent to the whole family about what happened with Cahill.

"I pray that he's caught before he hurts someone else," said Yates' daughter.

Officials with ADCRR have issued an arrest warrant for Cahill. His whereabouts are unknown.