Overview of Charles Russell
Charles Russell and his fiancée, Catherine Nelson, both avid collectors of vintage cars and motorcycles, went missing in early 2002 while on a trip to Tucson, Arizona to view a 2002 Ducati motorcycle advertised for sale. They were residing in the 7000 block of North 28th Drive in Phoenix, Arizona at the time. Russell had confided in a friend about their plans to make the trip on February 2, 2002, with a cashier's check in hand for the purchase. However, they never arrived at their destination and were reported missing by their loved ones when they failed to show up for work two days later. The couple was last seen in their newer model red Ford SVT Lightning F-150 pickup truck with Arizona license plate number 274-HBF. The truck was discovered abandoned in the parking lot of Santa Cruz Catholic Church in Tucson on February 7, 2002. There was no evidence of a struggle or additional clues found in the vehicle, except for Russell's checkbook inside the glove compartment. Nelson and Russell's relatives told investigators that leaving their dog unattended in the house was uncharacteristic of the couple, as they were expected to return the same day. Their stable and loving relationship also made it unlikely for them to disappear without warning. Investigators discovered that only two Ducati motorcycles were delivered to Arizona before the couple's disappearance. They believe the advertisement was a trap, and the couple may have been lured to Tucson for the purposes of robbery. However, there were no witnesses that confirmed seeing them in Tucson on February 2. In 2015, Brian Ferry was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the disappearance of Nelson and Russell. Ferry had a criminal record, having served three and a half years for fraud and auto theft. Forensic evidence played a significant role in his arrest. Ferry was tried for the murders in early 2018, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict, leading to a mistrial. He was retried later that year and convicted in May 2018. Ferry was found dead in his cell the following month, and his death was ruled a suicide. Given the circumstances surrounding the couple's disappearance, foul play is suspected.