MOUNTAIN CENTER, Calif. -
A cold case is warming up, 6 years after the gruesome murder of three people in Mountain Center, off of Highway 74. Now, a new team of investigators is coming together to try and solve the case. At this morning's news conference, they made one thing quite clear, they're confident those responsible still have ties to the Coachella Valley and that they will be brought to justice. Drew Friedli says, "We want closure as a whole family. It's really ripped our whole family apart."
The night of September 17, 2006 transformed the childhood home of the Friedli sisters into a gruesome crime scene. Tanya Friedli says, "I don't even recognize it anymore."
It's the first time Tanya has visited, since fire engulfed the 2-story Victorian house her father and grandfather built together. She 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."
Six years after their mother Vicky, stepfather John and little sister Becky were murdered, Drew and Tanya know nothing more than they did on that fateful day. They say they've lost all faith in the Sheriff's Department.
Tanya says, "I would have accepted anything from the investigators, any bit of information, care or concern and I received nothing."
Now, they're hoping the formation of a cold case homicide team, consisting of 12 retired law enforcement officers, leads to some answers.
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."
The team addressed the two theories surrounding the case. 53 year-old Vicky Friedli was the ex-wife of retired Riverside County Sheriff's Lieutenant, Ron Friedli. Some suspect the murders were in retaliation for his enforcement activity, while others have suspected Ron Friedli himself. Investigator Greg Miller says, "I can tell you for a fact that Ron passed the polygraph with flying colors and eliminated as a suspect by his geographical location at the time of the murders."
They've produced a re-enactment video showing how they believe the triple homicide may have happened, based on their investigation. They think Becky walked into a dangerous situation, realized she was in danger and ran for her life, only to get caught, becoming the third victim in a premeditated and calculated murder. Tanya says, "What happened to her was extremely personal. You don't light someone on fire, in a wheel barrel, just because."
As they wait for answers, Drew has one wish for those responsible. She says, "I hope they have to hear my little sister's pleas for life, every minute of the day, replaying in their head."
While the two sisters, with their lives ahead of them are left to look at the ruins of their once happy childhood, a stark reminder what they loved most, has been taken away.
Tanya says, "Even the brick sidewalk...someone's stolen the bricks. There's nothing left."
Nothing left, but hope for closure and ultimately justice.
A new billboard will be going up sometime this week, reminding everyone that there is a $50,000.00 dollar reward available for information.
If you know anything at all, please call 1-855-44-becky