Slain Tucson couple's car is discovered in Nevada

3 occupants of vehicle held for questioning in Tonopah
2013-07-25T00:00:00Z 2014-10-24T09:51:41Z Slain Tucson couple's car is discovered in NevadaKimberly Matas Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 25, 2013 12:00 am  • 

A car belonging to the elderly victims of a double homicide in midtown Tucson was found in Nevada less than a day after the slayings.

No arrests had been made as of Wednesday night, but the three occupants of the white 2004 Buick sedan were being held for questioning by police in Tonopah, Sgt. Maria Hawke, spokeswoman for the Tucson Police Department, said in a news release.

Tonopah is about 200 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Erskin Fulgham, 87, and his wife Mary Fulgham, 84, were found late Tuesday afternoon in their home with what police described as "obvious signs of trauma," Hawke said.

A family member had gone by the house in the 4600 block of East North Street near the intersection of East Grant and North Swan roads, found the couple and called police.

"There is no indication at this time that it was a random act," Hawke said Wednesday afternoon.

The couple's son, Mike Fulgham, confirmed that the deaths were not random, but declined to provide further details.

The Fulghams had lived in the cul-de-sac for more than 40 years, said their son, who traveled to Tucson from his home in Carson City, Nev., after learning of the deaths from his son.

Erskin and Mary Fulgham were raised on farms in Mississippi, their son said. In 1957 they moved to Tucson, hoping the dry weather would ease Mary's asthma.

"They worked very hard," said Mike Fulgham, one of the couple's four children. "They worked two or three jobs to take care of their family."

Mary Fulgham was retired from the athletic department at the University of Arizona, where she was in charge of the locker rooms.

"She wasn't athletic, but she took care of all the athletes and they loved her so well they asked her to be an honorary letterman," Mike Fulgham said. "She was always like a second mom for them. She would make clothes for them if they needed them, especially when she was younger. Back then you didn't need to have a lot of money to go to college ... and there were a bunch of kids that didn't have a lot who were going to school and I'd see her make clothes.

"She loved the University of Arizona. She loved the Wildcats. She didn't know much about sports, but she knew the Wildcats were good and the Sun Devils were bad," he said of the rival Arizona State University mascot.

She also worked as a seamstress at a local uniform shop repairing jerseys and stitching on player names and numbers.

Erskin Fulgham was a retired Asarco mine worker where he had been "a proud member of the steelworkers union," his son said. "My dad was a quiet guy. He wasn't always around because he worked a lot, shift work. We didn't have a lot, but we had everything we needed.

"My dad was a country boy drafted into the Army in World War II. I only found out about eight or nine years ago that my dad earned some Bronze Stars and he never talked about it," Mike Fulgham said.

"They were wonderful people. They didn't smoke, they didn't drink, they didn't party. They just worked hard and took care of their family. There's no reason in the world for this to happen to them.

"These are very fragile times for us," he said.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about the homicides should call 911 or 88-CRIME.

Contact reporter Kimberly Matas at kmatas@azstarnet.com or at 573-4191.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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