04-29-2015, 10:57 PM #1
CA - Skip, 55, & Joni Tillman, 51, La Canada, 7 Feb 2000
Skip Tillman and his wife Joni were murdered in 2000.
We don't have any new media updates. Here is one from 2012
For Lt. Rick Ells, who was one of the four detectives who worked the case when it reopened in 2008, the murder investigation was one that started in a promising fashion but quickly ran out of steam.
“They found the bodies, which was a huge break, but it just didn’t lead anywhere,” he said
Ells said that the case was a tricky one for San Bernardino Sheriff’s detectives to handle because of the tenuous connection between where the Tillmans lived and where they were buried.
Skip Tillman's daughter contacted me about her father's death. She needs the help of wonderful Websleuths posters like yourself. Even if you can't offer sleuthing skills a simple post of encouragement will go a long way.
I will ask her to join in and maybe she can shed more light on her father's case.
04-30-2015, 01:15 AM #2Verified Family Member in Skip Tillman Case
- Join Date
- Mar 2015
Thank you for adding my case.
This is all very new to me. I am very grateful for the opportunity. I was very upset to think we were making progress on the case and then in the blink of a promotion we were on the cold case floor. My heart goes out to everyone who has cases posted here. Thank you for all you do.
04-30-2015, 01:26 AM #3
Harold "Skip" Tillman and his wife Joni.
Per above link:
*They were found buried in remote graves.
*Skip Tillman was an accountant and Joni was a homemaker.
*They were last seen dining at J.J's Steakhouse in Pasadena, Feb. 6, 2000 (a witness reported seeing their vehicle later that night as it entered the driveway of their rented Bramblewood Road home).
*3 days later, the Tillmans were found strangled and buried in a remote wash in Yucaipa.
*They were involved "in a few contentious lawsuits at the time of their deaths".
*Their dog Teddy, a maltese, was found dead of exposure by a hiker and a further investigation of the area led to the discovery of their graves ("suspicious arrangement of tumbleweeds which marked their graves").
Last edited by margarita25; 04-30-2015 at 01:40 AM.
04-30-2015, 01:31 AM #4
So, first question: Why was their dog out there? Did they go out hiking (with someone they knew?) and brought the dog? Did someone lead/entice them out there for a hike? They had their dog with them...why? Or possibly intercepted during an outing with their dog? (Grooming, vet, dog park, walk...)(Timeline? Map/distances?)..or threatened / lured with dog? Why was the dog near the burial site if it was a "remote wash"?
Hoping you get some answers for your family, tamijt4. Welcome to WS, so sorry it is under these circumstances. Wishing you all the best here.
Last edited by margarita25; 04-30-2015 at 02:03 AM.
04-30-2015, 02:21 AM #5
04-30-2015, 03:16 AM #6
Good thoughts and questions, Margarita. Strangulation does usually point to someone who is very angry and has a personal relationship with the victim.
04-30-2015, 04:46 AM #7
I think it's unusual to have two victims strangled. Now I wonder whether it was manual or ligature strangulation. And was their car located?
The article says the graves (plural) were deep. Someone spent a lot of time and energy to make sure the bodies would remain hidden.
At first glance, it does appear that the motive was personal, and there might have been more than one perp.
04-30-2015, 05:06 AM #8
A man walking his dogs along a wash in the remote area Feb. 7 discovered a dead dog. He called the number on the dog's collar and, after learning Teddy belonged to the Tillmans, who had not been home in days, he alerted deputies at the Yucaipa sheriff's station. Homicide detectives found the makeshift grave near the dead dog and exhumed the bodies.
As police scoured both neighborhoods for evidence and witnesses Friday, details began emerging that paint a mysterious sequence of events, including valuables left untouched, a dead dog, an unlocked sliding glass door and a car abandoned in a Van Nuys neighborhood.
Last edited by bessie; 04-30-2015 at 05:28 AM.
04-30-2015, 05:14 AM #9
When Eller and his wife didn't hear from the couple, and Joan Tillman missed several appointments Feb. 7, their friends grew suspicious, Eller said. "That's not like them at all. They never go anywhere without telling their friends," he said.
Eller convinced the real estate agent who arranged for the Tillmans to rent their home on Bramblewood Road to let him inside to check on the couple. The house looked undisturbed, Eller said.
But 15 messages were on the answering machine, he said, including a call from the gamesman who found Teddy's body in Yucaipa. Eller called the man back.
"I said, 'We've got a problem, then, because (Teddy's) mom and dad are missing,' " Eller said. "So I called the sheriff and I said, 'We have a real problem here because if that dog is dead something's seriously wrong with my friends.' "
The gamesman returned to the area where he found the dog and discovered the shallow grave nearby, Eller said.
This article has a lot of information regarding the "legal battles".
04-30-2015, 05:25 AM #10
From 2008: witness recalls seeing two men near the wash in a green Ford Bronco. Also makes reference to a single grave.
Back to two graves (and shades of McStay)
“[Deputies] began working the scene [in the area the pet dog’s body was found] and found blood in the roadway, then located the graves on Feb. 9,” Jiles said. “The cause of death was strangulation.”
The graves were found near Oak Glen Road and 5th Street in Yucaipa.
The cold case detectives have little evidence to go on, but Jiles believes the murders were premeditated.
“Somebody had pre-dug [the graves the couple were found in]. They were three- to four- feet deep,” Jiles said. “Someone knew the area.
“Nothing was disturbed in the home. Whoever got them lured them out of the house. They wouldn’t have gone off on their own. They were taken out by someone they knew.”
Last edited by bessie; 04-30-2015 at 05:39 AM.
04-30-2015, 05:34 AM #11
The timeline seems so short. Couple is last seen at 10:00 pm on Feb 6, and by some time on Feb 7, the friend wants to go in the house to check on them? And, the poor little dog already has died from exposure (?), and by chance, has been found by a guy out walking his dogs. And this same guy goes back to the scene and discovers the graves! It's all too quick, too pat.
04-30-2015, 12:27 PM #12
Bessie, I was thinking the same things about shades of the McStays and it being unusual to have 2 victims strangled...
04-30-2015, 06:09 PM #13
04-30-2015, 06:19 PM #14
04-30-2015, 07:37 PM #15Registered User
- Join Date
- Feb 2012
I guess this was a bad lead??
"‘Person of interest' identified in Tillman murders"
A man seen driving near the gravesite of a couple is being sought in connection with their murders.
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