20 years later: Search continues for Robert Fisher, man accused of blowing up Arizona home, killing wife, kids
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - April 2021 will mark 20 years since police say Robert William Fisher killed his family and disappeared.
Fisher is wanted for the murder of his wife and two children in Scottsdale, Arizona on April 10, 2001.
On that day, Fisher's wife, Mary Fisher, and their two children, 13-year-old Britney and 10-year-old Bobby, were inside a home that exploded. Fisher disappeared shortly after the crime. Police officials say all three were murdered by Fisher.
Lori Greenbeck, a Fisher family friend, eventually came to believe the horror of the Scottsdale police report: that Fisher shot his wife and then cut his children's throats as they slept, before setting the house to explode.
"It's not something you could have foreseen," said Greenbeck, in a phone interview. "I do believe there was something wrong with him."
Days after the murder, the family’s truck was found abandoned with the family dog in Young, Arizona. Despite an extensive search of the Tonto National Forest, Fisher, who also went by Bobby, was never found.
Fast forward 20 years, the Fisher family's house has been replaced, but the horror of that morning lingers. Many in the community say they want to make sure Fisher does not get away with murder.
FBI still receiving tips
"We get tips every week," said FBI Agent Taylor Hanna.
Hanna says the Fisher case has garnered worldwide interest because it was so horrific. Rumors swirled that Fisher was having an affair, and his wife was getting ready to divorce him.
Besides the rumors, many theories about his disappearance have been floated in the 20 years since the explosion. Some believe Fisher is alive, and is living under another identity.
"There's also the theory that Young, where Mary's 4Runner was found, that he went up there and tried to hide, and possibly succumbed to the elements or took his own life," said Agent Hanna. "The thing with all these is yes, they’re all possibilities, but we still don't have any direct evidence to prove any of them, so I’m always on the lookout."
While Scottsdale Police investigators are still looking into the case, several people outside law enforcement are doing the same thing.
Christine Burke and her team of virtual investigators are reaching out for help in finding Fisher, who is a fugitive on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list.
Burke, a retired police sergeant, launched HelpSolveTheCase.com in 2010 to assist in resolving cold cases and wrongful convictions by uncovering new clues and utilizing new tools like genetic genealogy. The Chandler private investigator believes tips from the public will lead to Fisher, who is known for being an avid outdoorsman.
"We had two billboards running in the Phoenix area, hoping to get a hunter, or an outdoor enthusiast," said Burke.
In Los Angeles, a former Phoenix reporter is producing extensive podcasts, following clues in the Fisher case on his "Seeking Justice" podcast.
At the time of the explosion, Fisher was 40 years old. Over the years, the FBI has released progression images of what he might look like as he aged. If Fisher is alive, he will turn 60 on April 13.
As for his wife and children, they were laid to rest at Greenacres Ceremony, a little over a mile from their home.
"When people ask why is he still in the Top 10, that's why," said Agent Hanna. "We want to try to find justice for them."
"If he is still out there, I'm glad there are still people looking for him. I mean, he can't hide forever," said Greenbeck.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading directly to the arrest of Robert William Fisher. (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
More on the Robert Fisher case:
- FBI releases new images of Arizona 'Most Wanted' fugitive
- 2 Arizona cases remain on FBI's 10 most wanted list
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