Twenty years ago on April 10, 2001, a Scottsdale house exploded in flames, and firefighters found three bodies inside.
A mother and two children had died. The father and husband was missing. Suspicions quickly turned to that man, Robert Fisher, who had not showed up for work at the Mayo Clinic Hospital that morning.
Police soon concluded that he had killed his wife, Mary, and two children, Brittney and Bobby, and rigged an explosion to burn down the house and cover up the crimes.
His Toyota 4Runner was found 10 days later in a remote part of the Tonto National Forest east of Payson. But a manhunt failed to turn up any sign of him. Law enforcement was left with little to go on. Did the 40-year-old cardiovascular technician hitchhike out? Did he have help getting away? Or did he die, perhaps by suicide, in the woods?
The FBI added Fisher to its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list a year later, further boosting his profile as Arizona's most notorious fugitive.
Two decades and many false sightings later, the Scottsdale police detective in charge of the case, John Heinzelman, still receives two to three tips a week about Fisher, or about 100 leads a year.
The Arizona Republic spent three months researching the Fisher case for the 20th anniversary of the case that happened April 10, 2001, conducting interviews with friends and unearthing police reports and court records that shed new light on one of Arizona's most enduring mysteries.
He was last seen April 9, 2001 at 10:42p - the day before his family was killed.
40 years old
Weight: 190 lbs.
Sexual Orientation: HETEROSEXUAL
Professional Affiliation: MEDICAL
Foul Play Suspected: Unknown / Undisclosed
Suspected Suicide: Unknown / Undisclosed
Reported missing on April 10, 2001 - 7380 days, 15 hours, 25 minutes ago
This case file was posted on
Apr 09, 2021 at 08:30
This case file was last modified on
Apr 09, 2021 at 08:38
This case file has been assigned the Missing Persons ID 3606
Missing NPF lists “Foul Play Suspected,” “Suspected Suicide,” “Cause of Death,” and other elements of data in association with public reporting. These settings do not reflect the opinions of Missing NPF and/or its staff. Unless explicitly noted, Missing NPF does not publicize opinion, nor are any of the initial reports written – or edited – by members of Missing NPF. All content (with the exception of “IMPORTANT” notices, listed toward the top of applicable case files) are the works of external persons, sources and/or entities. All pictures displayed on this case file have been downloaded from the public domain, unless a user has commented or otherwise transmitted a picture to Missing NPF or its social media accounts. Case updates are derived from external persons, sources, and/or entities, and do not reflect the internal work of Missing NPF, unless expressly noted.