Details of Disappearance Cookie was last seen during the evening hours of September 21, 1998 inside her residence near McClintock Drive and Southern Avenue in Tempe, Arizona. She has never been heard from again. All of her personal belongings were located inside of her home. She was reported missing on September 22, the day after her disappearance.
Authorities believe Cookie's son, Aaron, then sixteen years old, murdered his mother that night and was assisted in the disposal of his mother's remains by his thirteen-year-old sister, Laura.
Ten days after Cookie's disappearance, Aaron confessed that he had found her dead in bed and Laura helped him dispose of her body because they feared they would be blamed for killing her. He said he wrapped her body in a yellow bedsheet and placed it in a trash can behind their house.
Cookie's blood was found in the trash can, but there wasn't enough blood to prove she had died. One of Aaron's friends stated Aaron and Laura had wanted to kill their mother. In addition, Aaron failed a polygraph about his mother's disappearance; Laura's polygraph results were inconclusive.
Aaron was arrested for second-degree murder and Laura for facilitation to commit second-degree murder, but the lack of corroborating evidence forced investigators to let them go within hours and continue working the case.
Cookie's children remain the prime suspects in her presumed homicide. Aaron and Laura did not have a good relationship with their mother before her disappearance, although there were no reports of domestic violence. Since her disappearance they have both have left the Tempe area.
Authorities believe Cookie's body is in the Butterfield Station Landfill, but they searched through 7,500 tons of trash for 59 days and found nothing.
In 2003, an anonymous individual called a local television station with a tip on Cookie's disappearance. Investigators considered the caller's information useful, but they were never able to identify the individual or contact him or her again.
Cookie's case remains unsolved.
- Tempe Police Department
Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated September 22, 2015; picture added, details of disappearance updated.