TUCSON, Ariz. – A Tucson man who was long suspected by authorities in the killings of his ex-wife, his mother-in-law and a third woman nearly 15 years ago was arrested Saturday.
David Duane Watson, 46, was taken into custody in the evening at his home without incident, Pima County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Chris Nanos said. Watson was booked into Pima County jail on three counts of first-degree murder with a $2 million bond.
"We believe we have the right man," Nanos said. "Throughout the entire investigation for 15 years, he has been our primary suspect."
According to authorities, David Watson was involved in a bitter child custody dispute with Linda Watson, 35, when she was reported missing from her home on Aug. 21, 2000. Her front door was found unlocked, police said. Inside, there was a broken coffee cup and traces of her blood.
Linda Watson's mother, Marilyn Cox, then became involved in civil litigation with David Watson to get unsupervised visitation rights with the couple's only daughter.
According to police, Cox, 63, and a friend, Renee Farnsworth, 53, had just returned from visiting the girl on May 7, 2003, when they were gunned down in the front yard of Cox's home.
In 2011, human remains that had been found in the Tucson desert in October 2003 were identified as belonging to Linda Watson.
Technology advancements, DNA testing and the discovery of more information were some of the reasons an arrest took 15 years, Nanos said.