Overview of Fontella Galloway
Fontella Galloway was a beloved retired school teacher who was quiet and independent.
Fontella taught school in both Roosevelt and Manila, UT for over 8 years before retiring. She taught first and second grade, and formerly taught in both Arizona and South Dakota with the Department of Indian Affairs. Fontella was never married and had no children, but she was a devoted member of the LDS church.
Fontella is last seen alive.
Fontella was last seen gardening in her yard on the afternoon of June 14, 1969 by neighbors at her home in Roosevelt, UT. The following day, her neighbor, Ruby, noted that all of the lights are turned off and stay off starting on June 15 until her body is found several days later.
On June 17, 1969, three days after Fontella was last seen, Ruby tried to call her unsuccessfully. According to Ruby, the phone only rings one time, before “it sounded as though someone picked it up and then hung it up”. The next day Ruby sees a cat sitting in the window of Fontella’s home and notices that the window’s screen is off and that the window is open about a foot.
Fontella’s body is found by a boy mowing her lawn.
While mowing Fontella’s lawn on a routine visit, 14 year old Lynn Casto glanced into Fontella’s window, where he saw her slumped over on her bed. He quickly ran to a neighbor’s home and authorities were called. Fontella was found partially nude with her hands tied behind her waist and the headboard of the bed.
Fontella’s autopsy revealed that she had been tortured, sexually assaulted, and that she died of suffocation from the weight of her upper body slouching over, which cut off circulation to her lungs. Further information gained from the autopsy revealed that she had obtained bruising and a broken fingernail, presumably from a struggle with her killer. Finally, they conclude that Fontella had been killed more than 24 hours before she was found.
A possible suspect falls under investigator’s radar.
An unnamed man, identified only as investigators’ prime suspect, called his boss on the morning of June 16, 1969 to abruptly ask for a week of vacation. When his boss complies to his request, the man reportedly leaves his job at Jack Rasmussen’s landscaping business and never returns. Police reportedly tried to interview this man, but were confronted by his daughter, who was reportedly upset for their interest in her father for Fontella’s murder.
Where the case stands today.
In 1980, Fontella’s murder was profiled by police consultants. They concluded that the execution of her murder points to an individual who may have been starting a killing spree. They also suggest that Fontella’s killer would have been in his 40s along with identifying him as an “organized killer”.
In 2000, 31 years after Fontella’s death, the Roosevelt Police Department, who held jurisdiction of Fontella’s case, handed evidence over to the Utah Criminal Tracking and Analysis Project (UTAP), a division of the Utah Attorney General’s Office. The information gathered from UTAP would then be sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy in Quantico, VA.
"You always open a case like this, hopefully to solve it. We had hoped to track down some of the evidence that had been misplaced over the years and use the advancements in DNA technology so we would have something to rule some people out.” - Roosevelt Police Chief, Cecil Gurr.
Today, it has been more than 53 years since Fontella’s murder, which remains unsolved and is considered to be completely cold. If you have any information regarding Fontella’s murder, please contact the Roosevelt Police Department at (435) 722-2330 or the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification at (833) DPS-SAFE (377-7233).