MOUNTAIN CENTER, Calif. - Six years ago tonight, three people were violently murdered, up in Mountain Center, off of Highway 74. What happened on the night of September 17, 2006 is nothing short of gruesome, tragic and haunting.
Tanya Friedli says, "Our mother and John Were brutally murdered in the bedroom and our childhood home was set ablaze. Our poor sister suffered the worst of it and was set on fire in a wheel barrel after trying to run away."
The wheel barrel, with 18 year-old Becky Friedli posed inside, was left in front of her burned down house. Tanya Friedli says, "What happened to her was extremely personal. You don't light someone on fire, in a wheel barrel, just because."
Tanya and Drew Friedli know nothing more than they did 6 years ago and they say the Sheriff's department has done little to help. Tanya Friedli says, "I would have accepted anything from the investigators, any bit of information, care or concern and I received nothing."
We tried contacting the Sheriff's Department, but our phone calls requesting a statement on the anniversary were not returned. John Hall with the Riverside County D.A.'s office tells us back in July the Sheriff's Department handed the case over to the D.A. to be reviewed and no filing decisions have been made.
Last month, at a press-conference, at the murder scene, we learned about the formation of a cold case homicide team. Lead investigator, Luis Bolanos says, "We are in this because we believe this case can be solved. We believe the following to be true. The suspects were known individually to Becky and her family. The suspects lived locally and still have strong ties to the community in the Coachella Valley."
Today, Bolanos issued this statement on the anniversary, "The investigation is going quite well. We've made significant progress since the press conference, in August. We encourage those phone calls to keep on coming in."
In fact, the day after the press conference, witnesses started contacting our news room. A witness who asked us not to reveal his identity says he was on his way to Pinyon Pines, that night, when he saw someone suspicious. "Tamara: Is it safe to say this has haunted you for the last 6 years? Witness: Absolutely, I think about it all the time."
But nobody thinks about it more than the Frieldi sisters, especially on the anniversary. Tanya Friedli tells us, "Today continues to be a heartbreaking day every year and a struggle to get through. Our family is praying someone will come forward and help resolve this case."
Drew Friedli says, "I'm hoping we get closure as a family and I hope someone comes forward with any new information."
To encourage just that, a billboard has gone up along interstate ten, to remind everyone that there's a $50,000.00 reward available. And a "Help Solve the Becky Friedli Murder" Facebook page is up and running
Each, a gateway for new leads, in the hopes of finding a cold-blooded killer.
Drew Friedli says, "I hope they have to hear my little sister's pleas for life, every minute of the day replaying in their head."
If you have any information, call 1-855-44 BECKY.