Woman who claimed she was kidnapped arrested in Prescott homicide case

Sharalyn Stura’s false statements prompted manhunt in Rimrock

Sharalyn Stura

Sharalyn Stura

A woman who reportedly claimed she had been kidnapped by a suspected murdered that sparked a manhunt in the Rimrock area Thursday has been arrested and booked into the Yavapai County Jail on one count of first-degree murder, according to a news release from the Prescott Police Department.

The news release states 57-year-old Prescott resident Sharalyn Stura was arrested in connection with the Prescott-area homicide.

The news release states that at about 11:50 a.m. Thursday, June 21, “a call was received from the Arizona Department of Public Safety advising they located a vehicle on Interstate 17 at Highway 179 which was occupied by a lone female subject whose hands were tied to the steering wheel and reported that she had been kidnapped from her residence in Prescott.”

DPS requested Prescott Officers conduct a welfare check at the home on Southview Drive, the news release states. Upon making entry, a deceased male subject was located inside the residence. He was later identified as 66-year-old Prescott resident Jay Michael Freeman.

Stura reported to officers that a man she did not know kidnapped her from her residence and forced her to drive to an area near Montezuma’s Well in the Rimrock area before she was able to escape and drive away from the area.

Stura told officers that she drove toward the area of Interstate 17 and Highway 179 seeking help when a passerby finally stopped to assist her.

The news release continues, “Ms. Stura indicated that the suspect that kidnapped her was armed and fled on foot in the area around Montezuma’s Well and the Beaver Creek area just north of Rimrock. This information resulted in an extensive, coordinated search effort for the suspect involving several law enforcement agencies.”

Prescott police detectives assumed the investigation and obtained a search warrant for the residence, the news release states.

“Evidence gathered at the residence as well as an interview of Ms. Stura revealed conflicting information in Ms. Stura’s account of what had occurred. It was determined that the story provided by Stura concerning the kidnapping and suspect at large was completely fabricated. Stura admitted her involvement in the homicide and was booked into the Yavapai County Jail on one count of 1st Degree Murder. There are no suspects currently outstanding,” according to the news release.

All efforts taken in the Montezuma’s Well and Rimrock areas were made based on the information provided by what appeared to be a legitimate account of a serious violent crime, the news release concluded.

Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dwight D’Evelyn said “the intensive search by the Sheriff's Office, DPS, and assisting agencies was based on the information provided at the time. The safety of your community was paramount throughout the day, thus the all resources necessary were used in attempt to capture the individual identified. We thank the community for your cooperation.”

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