One of the nation’s most wanted fugitives may be living in Rim Country, federal officials have reminded local police.
Despite the lack of recent sightings of murder suspect Robert Fisher, the FBI wants officials to stay alert.
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office passed that message onto some 80 Blue Ridge residents Saturday by e-mail.
The blast message from Deputy Richard Shouse came just days after the 11-year anniversary of a crime in which Scottsdale police say Fisher slit the throats of his wife and two children, and then set their home on fire and vanished.
Today, the FBI believes Fisher may be living in the Blue Ridge Reservoir area as a hermit or squatting in a trailer, cabin or an old home in the woods.
Shouse wrote that the FBI had recently contacted him about the case.
FBI special agent Manual Johnson, Phoenix media coordinator, said the FBI intended for the notice to go to local law enforcement, not the news media or residents.
Johnson called it more of a “re-canvassing” of law enforcement in the area.
Based on Fisher’s outdoorsman characteristics, investigators think he may have remained in the area, Johnson said.
“We are focusing on Fisher’s characteristics of being an avid outdoorsman, fisherman and hunter,” he said. “That is what we are focusing on.”
Police believe in the early hours of April 10, 2001, Fisher murdered his family and then blew up their south Scottsdale residence.
The crime spurred a national manhunt. Thousands of tips poured in, some leading authorities to the Rim Country where Fisher had hunted.
Ten days after the murders, authorities found Fisher’s 4Runner sport utility vehicle and his dog in a forested area near Young. Detectives suspected Fisher hid in nearby caves, but he evaded capture.
Fisher has remained on the FBI’s top 10 most wanted fugitive list, with a $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
“Fisher walks with an exaggerated upright walk, has a bad back, probably has long hair and is homeless looking,” wrote Shouse.
Fisher is an avid outdoorsman, hunter and angler known to chew tobacco heavily.
Fisher also has surgical scars on his lower back. Police think he has several weapons, including a high-powered rifle.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s office or FBI at www.fbi.gov/contact-us.