Cold-case victim's sister: 'I knew who did it all along'

Cold-case victim's sister: 'I knew who did it all along'

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - "It's been a long time coming," said Pat Hinkle, the aunt and sister of two women killed in separate, but related incidents.

A Tucson man is now charged with each woman's murder, and that of a third person connected to a cold-case investigation dating back 15 years.

"I knew who did it all along, " Hinkle said, referring to David Watson, a former Tucson Fire Department captain facing three counts of first degree murder.

"You expect it to happen. You expect him to get arrested, but when it happens it just floors you," Hinkle said.

Authorities say Watson killed his estranged wife Linda Watson in 2000.

At the time, the two were in the middle of a bitter custody battle over their four-year-old daughter.

On Aug. 21, 2000, Linda was reported missing from her west-side home in the 2600 block of West Curtis. The door to the house was found open.

Inside, authorities found signs of a struggle, a broken coffee cup and traces of Linda's blood, but no sign of the 35-year-old woman.

It wasn't until 2011 that bodily remains found in the desert in 2003 were positively identified as belonging to Linda Watson.

In 2003, Linda's mother Marilyn Cox and neighbor Renee Farnsworth were gunned down in the driveway of that same home on West Curtis.

Marilyn moved into the home not only to feel closer to her missing daughter, but also to be close to her best friend Renee, who lived just a few houses away on the same street.

Wednesday, Farnsworth's family shed some light on the relationship between the two women senselessly murdered on May 7, 2003.

"Honestly she loved Marilyn," Dorothy Brady said about her late mother Renee Farnsworth.

"They were both filling a void for each other. My grandma had died four, five months before that with colon cancer, and Marilyn had lost her daughter," Brady said. "They talked all the time and were even considering moving in together."

Reflecting on the days leading up to her mother's death and any fear Farnsworth may have over her friend's situation, Brady said, "My mom was where she wanted to be, where she needed to be."

"If something would've happened to Marilyn and she wouldn't have been there, I think my mom would've felt guilty," Brady said.

Like her daughter Linda, Marilyn Cox got involved in a custody dispute with David Watson as well, hoping to gain visitation rights with her granddaughter.

But David Watson reportedly wasn't too keen on that idea.

Before her death, Marilyn voiced concern over the increasingly-volatile relationship she had with him.

Just weeks before she died, Cox told her attorney, "If I were to disappear at some point, you know exactly where to look."

As to where the case is today and any "new information" that led to Saturday's arrest of David Watson, Pima County Sheriff's Department is saying very little.

Watson resigned from the Tucson Fire Department on Wednesday instead of facing termination.

He remains in the Pima County Jail on $2 million cash bond.

When asked if she and her family are finally able to move on some 15 years after Linda's disappearance and 12 years after Cox and Farnsworth were gunned down in the street, Hinkle paused, looked down for a moment, then said, "I've forgiven ... finally got to the point where the Lord was saying let it go. I will always miss my sister and Linda. I have to forgive David."

Dorothy Brady wouldn't go that far, but did offer some heart-felt words of remembrance.

"My mother, Renee Farnsworth, was a wonderful person, a well-known respiratory therapist at TMC. She was loving, caring, a faithful friend to many. And it's a shame her life was cut short due to a selfish choice of an individual. I love you, Mom. Now you can rest in peace."

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