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Tucson fugitive still on the run after 26 years

Posted at 6:45 PM, Jul 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-07 20:04:26-04
One of America's most wanted fugitives is still on the run more than 25 years after killing a young boy in Tucson. Police say Michelle Comstock was drunk when she drove her car through a midtown home. The impact killed a 5-year-old boy sleeping inside. Now, the US Marshal Service says they have some new leads. Nine On Your Side's Jennifer Delacruz takes us back to that night. 
 
On December 1, 1990 five-year-old Collin Gunning was sound asleep.
 
"I guess it was about 1:13 in the morning when the car hit our house," said his mother Dawn.
 
Tucson police say 27-year-old Michelle Comstock was drinking heavily at the Red Dog Saloon. Her blood and alcohol level was at a .125 that night. She was also high on pain pills. Comstock left the bar, and drove a mile-and-a-half before trying to turn left onto Tipton Drive from Fairview Avenue. She missed that turn and drove her car right through the living room of the Gunning house.
 
"It was a huge boom sound and it woke us all up," said Dawn.
 
Comstock's car barreled through the front of the house and into a chair where Collin was sleeping. The impact pinning him against a wall.
 
"Everybody was just realizing that Collin was not present. We were trying to get the car out of the way so that we could pull Collin off of the wall. I think his head was really crushed and so even though I did get him in my arms at the point when they finally pulled his body out of the wall. I only saw him take one big breath and after that there was no movement whatsoever."
 
Collin Gunning died that morning. His mother, Dawn says Comstock showed no remorse.
 
"The words that she spoke were words of 'what was he doing on the couch? What kind of mother are you?"'
 
In a state of apathy and panic Comstock took off. Police found a Christmas card in the car that lead them back to Comstock's home where she had walked to half-a-mile away. She was arrested, booked and put on pre-trial release. Comstock never showed up to her trial.
 
"In october of 1992, she fled," said US Marshal deputy Jennifer Rippey. She's been following the case and retracing Comstock's every move. 
 
"She was arrested in 1994 in Massillon, Mexico on drug charges. To our knowledge there haven't been any sightings of her since then."
 
More than two decades later Rippey hasn't given up hope.
 
"Fast forward 2016, doing interviews across the country, different offices within the Marshal Service, the information we believe is solid enough to say that she is still out there and very much alive."
 
And the fugitive on the run can't be working alone.
 
"Some information was developed that indicated that there were individuals that knew more than they were willing to tell us. There are individuals out there that know where she's at and possibly helping her stay on the run."
 
As time moves on, the hope of closing the case grows a little stronger. 
 
"Michelle is going to be 53-years-old. It gets a little harder, she's getting older, it's going to get harder to hustle and get money and get things that she needs to stay on the run."
 
For Collin's mother and his twin brother Tevor, it's a case that won't close and a wound that won't heal.  
 
"I really miss the intimacy and just the way he loved me," said Dawn. "The way we bonded so perfectly. Every day was so fun. Every day was so fun being a mother of twins. Collin was stocky, and strong and robust and I would have liked to see him grow up."
 
If you have any information regarding Michelle Comstock's whereabouts, call 911.