Charles Martin Russell

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Above Images: Russell, circa 2002


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: February 2, 2002 from Phoenix, Arizona
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: October 14, 1943
  • Age: 58 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'9, 180 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown hair, blue eyes. Russell's nickname is Chuck. He has the phrase "Born To Raise Hell" tattooed on his left shoulder.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Russell and his fiancee, Catherine Nelson, resided in the 7000 block of North 28th Drive in Phoenix, Arizona in early 2002. Russell told a friend that he and Nelson planned to drive to Tucson, Arizona on February 2, 2002 to look at an advertised 2002 Ducati motorcycle. Russell and Nelson were very interested in vintage cars and motorcycles, and they planned to bring a cashier's check with them to make the purchase. They have never been heard from again. Their loved ones reported them as missing persons on February 4, when they both failed to report for work as scheduled. Russell was employed as a salesman at a medical supply company near Phoenix in 2002.

    Nelson and Russell were traveling in their newer model red Ford SVT Lightning F-150 pickup truck with the Arizona license plate number 274-HBF at the time of their disappearances. A photo of the vehicle is posted below this case summary. The truck was discovered abandoned in the parking lot of Santa Cruz Catholic Church in Tucson on February 7, 2002. Russell's checkbook was located inside the glove compartment. There was no indication of a struggle at the scene and no additional evidence was found inside the vehicle.

    Nelson and Russell's family members told authorities that it is uncharacteristic of them to leave without warning. They left their dog unattended inside their house, as they planned to return home during the evening of February 2. Their relatives stated that Nelson and Russell would have placed their pet in a kennel if they expected to stay away for an extended period of time. They are described as having a very stable and loving relationship. Investigators determined that only two Ducati motorcycles were delivered to Arizona prior to the couple's disappearance. They believe the advertisement was a ruse and theorized Nelson and Russell may have been lured to Tucson for the purposes of a robbery. No witnesses have come forward to state that the couple was seen in Tucson on February 2.

    In January 2015, Brian Ferry was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in Russell and Nelson's disappearances. A photo of Ferry is posted below this case summary. He has a prior criminal record; he served three and a half years for fraud and auto theft. Authorities haven't released much information about the case against him, but they did say forensic evidence had helped lead to an arrest. He is awaiting trial. Foul play is suspected in Nelson and Russell's disappearances due to the circumstances involved.

    Truck Ferry
    Left: Nelson and Russell's pickup truck;
    Right: Brian Ferry, circa 2015


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Phoenix Police Department

    Tucson Police Department


    Source Information
    Maricopa County Assessor's Office
    The Arizona Republic
    The Arizona Daily Star
    ABC 15


    Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated June 17, 2016; picture added, details of disappearance updated.

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