July 7th, 2001
Donna Anthony and her children were declared as missing by the Phoenix, Arizona police department. Two weeks later, on July 21, David Anthony was arrested in connection with the disappearances. A well publicized trial followed. Anthony's defense introduced Rosa Romero, who had been married to Samuel Romero. According to court records, Rosa Romero declared that Samuel Romero had a violent character and had threatened her before, and she suspected it was him, not David Anthony, who may have been involved in the disappearance of Donna Anthony and her two children. Vince Imbordino, a deputy attorney working with Maricopa County, where Phoenix is located at, accused Anthony of killing his wife and her children in order to hide sexual assaults he had allegedly been committing against Danielle Romero. Imbordino also said that Anthony had stolen money from Donna Anthony, and he signaled David Anthony as a man who enjoyed flirting with numerous other women. On April 1, 2002, despite the lack of physical evidence linking Anthony to the three disappearances, he was found guilty of three charges of first-degree murder. As time went by, the mystery of Donna Anthony's disappearance as well as those of her children grew, as did the Phoenix police's frustration due to the lack of physical evidence connecting Anthony to it, except for a sample of Danielle Romero's blood and David Anthony's semen that were apparently found close to each other at a mattress in the Anthonys' house. On October 18, 2005, construction workers who had been contracted to work on the building of a Walmart store found two trash drums hidden under a tree in Buckeye, forty miles from downtown Phoenix. Skeletal remains were found inside the drums. Police were called to investigate the area, and, after collecting the skeletons, DNA testing was performed, confirming that the skeletons belonged to Donna Anthony and her daughter, who was fourteen at the time of her death. On October 31, police investigating the area found a third trash bin, with more remains inside. The third trash can was found with help of a metal detection machine that had been loaned by the Phoenix Police Department from the United States Air Force. Maricopa county sheriff Joe Arpaio, a particularly outspoken sheriff, told the Arizona Republic that he was "99 percent sure" that the remains inside the bin belonged to Donna Anthony's son Richard, who was twelve at the time of his death.