Murder of Jenika Feuerstein - Police Seeking Clues 9-Years Later
Jenika Feuerstein, 20, vanished on January 3, 2009, on Mesa Drive and Brown Road, in Mesa Ariz. The discovery of her body nearly a year later initiated an investigation into a mystery with answers remaining elusive nine years later.
After the missing person report was made, Feuerstein’s mother told Mesa Police Department investigators that Feuerstein and a man, unknown to her at that time, drove together to Fourth Avenue jail in downtown Phoenix, to place money on the books of a friend who had been jailed.
Her mother also said after her daughter and the man drove to the jail, they were supposed to meet another friend at his apartment, but neither arrived.
The man has since been identified as ex-convict David L. Hutchinson, 48, who told police he dropped Feuerstein off. Hutchinson has been repeatedly interviewed by police. He says he dropped Feuerstein off at a Walgreens near her apartment on the evening of January 3.
Feuerstein’s roommate confirmed to police Feuerstein was with Hutchinson, 48, after receiving a text at approximately 11:10 p.m. on that Saturday, January 3. Feuerstein’s text indicated she was at McClintock Drive and Dobson Road with Hutchinson and she would be there by 11:30 p.m. They never arrived.
Feuerstein’s family became concerned when she did not show up on January 4, for her sister’s memorial ceremony, who had passed away from a brain tumor 3-years prior.
Feuerstein had struggled with a drug history and her family initially thought Feuerstein had possibly begun using heroin again as she had had a recent argument with her sister about entering a drug rehabilitation program. They proceeded to file a missing person report.
Police state, three days after Feuerstein’s disappearance, two of her friends located Hutchinson at a campsite at Coons Bluff, approximately 45 minutes away from where Jenika had sent the text on McClintock Drive. Coon’s Bluff is a well-known camping area along the lower Salt River in Maricopa County.
In 2014, three men target shooting in the Arizona desert near Apache Lake, approximately and found a large plastic container, taped shut, and placed deep inside a large bush. The men opened the plastic bin and were horrified to find skeletal remains and clothing of what they said appeared to be a young girl. The location of the remains is approximately one hour away from the Coon’s Bluff campsite.
They immediately notified Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) who later identified the remains as Jenika Feuerstein.
Cause of death has not been released but her case is being investigated as a homicide.
David L. Hutchinson was convicted of armed robbery in 2001 and served a 6 ½ year prison term, released in May 2007. MCSO says Hutchinson is not and has never been named a suspect in the case.
If you have information regarding the disappearance and murder of Jenika Feuerstein, please contact Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office at 602-876-8477.