AZ - Spouse accused of killing 3 who are missing

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Jul 22, 2001, 11:31:45 AM7/22/01
Spouse accused of killing 3
Wife, her 2 children missing since July 7

Brent Whiting
The Arizona Republic
Jul. 22, 2001

A Peoria area man was arrested Saturday in the deaths of his wife and two
stepchildren despite the absence of three crucial items of evidence: the

David Lamar Anthony, 54, was booked into a Maricopa County jail on three
counts of first-degree murder.

Anthony is accused in the disappearance of his wife, Donna Anthony, 53, and
her children, Danielle Romero, 14, and Rick Romero, 12.

Investigators don't know how the three may have been killed or where their
bodies may be found, Sheriff Joe Arpaio told reporters at a Phoenix news

Arpaio said David Anthony was taken into custody several days after
deputies, backed with a warrant, searched his home and uncovered evidence of
horrible violence.

"We saw a violent crime scene with blood on the walls and other places,"
Arpaio said.

Deputies also uncovered evidence of concerted efforts to clean the house, he

Using sophisticated techniques, investigators found blood spatters
throughout the home in the 8400 block of West Pinnacle Peak Road, he said.
DNA analysis will be used in an attempt to link the blood to the missing

Anthony was taken into custody at his home, Arpaio said. The suspect invoked
his constitutional right to remain silent and told investigators that he
wanted to speak with a lawyer.

Arpaio said deputies acted to put Anthony behind bars because they believed
that he posed a flight risk.

"We don't want another Robert Fisher case," Arpaio said, referring to the
Scottsdale man who has been sought since April 10 in the deaths of his wife
and two children.

Fisher, 41, is accused of killing the three, then setting a time-delayed
explosion that destroyed the family's home.

In the Anthony case, Donna and her two children are believed to have left
home July 7 for Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix.

They were to fly to Columbus, Ohio, to visit relatives, but they never
boarded the plane.

Donna's pickup truck was discovered July 10 at a strip mall at 19th Avenue
and Indian School Road under circumstances that Arpaio described as highly

The vehicle had been thoroughly wiped clean, leaving no fingerprints, and
the keys were left on the front seat, like an invitation for theft.

Arpaio said deputies began speaking to David after the Ohio relatives called
to report Donna and the children as missing.

David, then an investigative lead, told a number of conflicting stories,
Arpaio said.

In the days before his arrest, David Anthony conducted himself "in an
erratic manner" and tried to elude 24-hour-a-day surveillance by deputies,
Arpaio said.

The Sheriff's Office doesn't know whether Anthony and his wife had a history
of domestic violence, Arpaio said.

But deputies have been called to the Anthony home several times because of
disputes with neighbors.

One such dispute boiled over in March 2000 when Anthony and a neighbor,
Heinz Grunwald, locked horns in a legal battle over a water well.

A lawsuit between the two men is pending in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Grunwald could not be reached for comment



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