The headline in the Jan. 25, 2007, edition of the Mesa Republic read: "Mother, unborn child slain in Mesa."
McElroy and her unborn daughter, Payton, were killed Jan. 23, shortly after 9 p.m. at her home. McElroy lived with her boyfriend, Richard Kantorowski, at the Circle Tree Condominiums near Country Club Drive and Holmes Avenue, police said. Kantorowski is the father of Amanda's son, Chase, and her unborn child, Payton.
Police say Amanda was fatally shot during an apparent home invasion.
The intruder, armed with a gun, ordered McElroy and Kantorowski to the floor, and demanded items from their home. Kantorowski, then 23, told police a man knocked at his apartment door. He thought he knew the man and started to open the door but realized he didn't and tried to close the door. The intruder forced the door open, entered and demanded his wallet. They struggled and a shot was fired, grazing Kantorowski and fatally striking McElroy.
Mesa police believe the home invasion was not random. The target, police say, was Kantorowski.
Police are looking for the gunman, who is described as White, 35 to 40 years old, about 6 feet tall, weighing 180 to 190 pounds, possibly wearing a dark jacket or sweatshirt and blue jeans. He was wearing a dark knit cap or beanie. Police have created a composite sketch of the killer.
Silent Witness is offering up to a $2,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer. Amanda's family is also offering an additional $1,000, for a total of $3,000.
Police recovered possible evidence that is being tested by the Mesa police crime and identification lab. Mesa is also using the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, a national gun "fingerprint" database used to link weapons to crime scenes, to examine ballistic evidence.
How you can help: Call Mesa police at 480-644-2211. Calls also can be made anonymously to Silent Witness at 1-800-343-TIPS.