Name: Catherine E. Nelson
Case Classification: Endangered Missing
Missing Since: February 2, 2002
Location Last Seen: Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona
Date of Birth: February 17, 1959
Age: 43 years old
Weight: 160-170 lbs.
Hair Color: Blond/Strawberry or dyed blonde/short
Eye Color: Green
Distinguishing Marks/Features: She has a hysterectomy scar and pierced ears.
Fingerprints: Not Available
Additional Personal Items: Unknown
Catherine and her fiance, Charles Russell (NamUs MP# 1098), were traveling in their red Ford SVT Lightning F-150 pickup truck with Arizona license plates 274-HBF at the time of their disappearance. 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.
Authorities believe that Nelson and Russell may have been lured to Tucson for the purposes of a robbery, but little evidence is available to prove any theory. Foul play is suspected in Nelson and Russell's disappearances. In 2015, 44-year-old Brian Ferry was arrested for the murder of 58-year-old Charles Russell and 42-year-old Catherine Nelson. Ferry has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
Agency Name: Phoenix Police Department - Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit
Agency Contact Person: Detective Jared D'addabbo
Agency Phone Number: 602-534-2121
Agency E-Mail: jared.d'[email protected]
Agency Case Number: 2002-20238541A
Agency Name: Tucson Police Department
Agency Contact Person: N/A
Agency Phone Number: 520-791-4487
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: N/A
NCIC Case Number: Unknown
NamUs Case Number: 1074
North American Missing Persons Network
Added: 1/31/2017; Last Updated: 1/31/2017
Questions or comments? Please contact appropriate member of the Area Team
** Listed information is from the time of disappearance.