Search continues for suspect in ’96 Aspen car bombing |

Search continues for suspect in ’96 Aspen car bombing

Wyatt Haupt Jr.
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Courtesy ATFA car bomb killed Gary Lee Triano in Tucson, Ariz., in 1996, and authorities suspect Aspen socialite Pamela Phillips was involved.

ASPEN ” About a month has passed since authorities in Arizona issued arrest warrants for Aspen socialite Pamela Phillips in connection with the car-bombing death of her ex-husband 12 years earlier.

But authorities in Pima County, where the alleged murder occurred, do not appear to be any closer to apprehending the 51-year-old fugitive, who is thought to be thousands of miles away.

“We believe the suspect is overseas. Our information is that she is in Europe,” said Rick Kastigar, Bureau Chief of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, on Thursday afternoon. “We know she has a daughter in Switzerland.”

He added Phillips would be arrested should she try to re-enter the United States through a normal entry point.

Phillips, a resident of Aspen, is the former wife of Tucson businessman Gary Triano. He was killed Nov. 1, 1996, when his Lincoln Town Car blew up in the parking lot at the La Paloma Country Club in Tucson, Ariz.

Triano was 52 at the time of his death.

Authorities believe that Phillips paid $400,000 to Ronald Young to kill her ex-husband in order to collect on a $2 million life insurance policy. Phillips and

Triano were divorced in 1993.

Young was arrested Oct. 17 in Yorba Linda, Calif., on charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and first-degree murder. The arrest came after he was indicted by a Pima County grand jury.

Young pleaded not guilty to those charges Nov. 4 in Pima County Superior Court. He is scheduled to next appear in court Dec. 22. Young is suspected of putting inside the car a pipe bomb that killed Triano.

Phillips faces the same charges, Kastigar said. Tucson-based attorney Walter Nash, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, is representing Phillips.

Meanwhile, Phillips also has a case pending in Pitkin County. She was arrested Aug. 31, on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. She was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday but did not attend the hearing.

Pitkin County Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely said Phillips was not required to attend. But the judge did order Phillips to attend her next scheduled hearing Dec. 16 at the Pitkin County courthouse.

Aspen attorney Richard Cummins is representing Phillips, locally. He has declined any comment on the case.

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