MESA, Ariz. – Four days before police captured two men they say shot people at random in the Phoenix area for more than a year, Robin Blasnek became the final victim in the killing spree.
Blasnek, 22, had been walking to her boyfriend's house in Mesa around 11:15 p.m. July 30 when she was gunned down. She was alive when a neighbor found her but later died at a hospital.
Police concluded the killing was the latest in a series of late-night shootings that left six people dead and 17 wounded since May 2005.
On Saturday, a day after two men were booked in Blasnek's death, about 400 family members and friends mourned the young woman at a funeral at a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mesa.
"The circumstances of Robin's death tells us how wicked this world has become," said her mother, Sandra Blasnek.
Dale S. Hausner, 33, and Samuel John Dieteman, 30, were being held without bond on two counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted first-degree murder.
Police arrested Hausner and Dieteman at their Mesa apartment Thursday after keeping both under tight surveillance for four days. Authorities say their evidence against the men includes weapons and a map marking the shootings. Court documents said Dieteman admitted the pair was involved in some of the crimes.
Robin Blasnek was one of four daughters and had attention deficit disorder and learning disabilities. At her funeral, her mother described her as sweet and without an ounce of guile.
Sandra Blasnek recalled the time when a young Robin threw rocks at cars that didn't stop at her lemonade stand. She also visited her mother, a dental hygienist, at work and would peer into patients' mouths and ask them how it was going.
Sometimes she called her mom's work asking for her, and when the receptionist asked what she needed, Robin simply said: "I don't know. You just go get her, and I'll think of something."
When Robin was in high school, her mother said, she volunteered to work with mentally and physically handicapped children, singing and reading to them.
As an adult, Robin struggled with leaving her parents' home to live in a group home in Tempe. Her parents promised she could stay with them on weekends.
Robin then became more independent, landing a job as an administrative assistant and astounding her parents by answering phones, paging people and training new employees. In April, she was named Employee of the Month.
Although Robin's life was full of successes, she sometimes struggled with her disabilities, her mother said.
"She wanted to be normal and fit in just like everyone else," Sandra Blasnek said.
Hausner and Dieteman are being investigated in 36 shootings, including some involving animals. They are also suspected of committing two arsons. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Aug. 14.
Investigators first started looking for Dieteman in July when he surfaced as a suspect in the fires at two Wal-Marts in Glendale in June. But Phoenix police didn't find him until Monday, when an investigator spotted him in his car.
Officers found shotgun cartridges, shotguns and long rifles in the men's apartment, according to the probable cause statement.
Police searching through their trash found a map with red and blue dots representing the locations of the attacks, the document said. The bag also contained an "America's Most Wanted" video and news clippings of the shootings and other attacks linked to another serial assailant dubbed the Baseline Killer.