Yuma teacher's murder unsolved 40 years later

Cracking the Case

Cracking the Case: Yuma teachers murder unsolved 40 years later

YUMA, Ariz. - A routine day for a former teacher at Alice Byrne elementary and business owner turned deadly on September 29, 1979.

"Dorothy Smock was found. She was duct tapped from eyebrow down to chin. Her feet were ducted taped. There was duct tape around one hand.

Smock suffocated from the tape around her face.

The last time she was heard from was just before 11 in the morning on the day of her murder.

Her hairdresser called.

She had a hairdressing appointment at one o’clock in the afternoon. The hair dresser had an early cancelation, so they did call her at 10:45. They did talk to her to see if they could bump it to like noon, said Sgt. Franklin.

That was the last known time anyone heard from Smock, according to Yuma Police.

"She did not show up for the appointment. The hairdressers tried to call her back at 12:45. She didn’t answer the phone. They also called several times after that, said Sgt. Franklin.

The hairdressers knew it was unlike Smock to not show up.

Smock also did not make it to church that night where she was supposed to meet her husband.

That's when he went looking for her. He found her dead inside the bathroom.

“They thought maybe a robbery because her purse had been dumped all over the place and the wallet was actually found outside the business,” said Sgt. Franklin.

However, Smock was still wearing her diamond rings and a gold watch.

Police say this was a case that really confused investigators…but nonetheless officers questioned hundreds of people…. Even her husband.

“He was interviewed, he was even polygraphed, totally passed the polygraph,” said Sergeant Lori Franklin, YPD.

Yet there is hope. They were able to recover fingerprints from the scene.

Officers last took a look into the case in 2006.

If you have any information on this disturbing murder call the Yuma Police Department or to stay anonymous call 78-crime.

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