Michael Turney, the stepfather of Alissa Turney and the main suspect in her 2001 disappearance, has been acquitted of murder charges related to her presumed death.

A judge reportedly threw out the case and ruled for a motion of acquittal in court Monday morning.

The defense asked earlier in the day Monday for the judge to issue an acquittal based on what they called a lack of evidence that Michael killed Alissa, claiming there was sufficient evidence that she ran away.

The news appeared to come as a complete shock to Alissa’s family, who was in court at the time of the ruling.

WATCH: Siblings, classmates of Alissa Turney testify in Michael Turney trial

Seventeen-year-old Alissa went missing at the end of the school year at Paradise Valley High School in 2001. She was first reported as a runaway by Michael, who told authorities that Alissa had left a note and was going to California.

In 2008, new information was brought to light, and officials began a criminal investigation into Alissa’s disappearance.

Officials conducted hundreds of interviews with coworkers, friends, and family.

When a search warrant was issued on Michael’s home, they discovered a bombing plot, at which point he was brought into custody. Officials say Michael took a plea deal and served 10 years in prison in the bombing plot, unrelated to Alissa’s disappearance.

He was arrested in 2020 by police in Mesa on second-degree murder charges in connection to Alissas presumed death.

Her body has never been recovered.

Sarah, Alissa’s sister, testified in court last week as a key witness. She has spent years searching for answers, sharing haunting home videos on social media, and even starting a podcast called ‘Voices for Justice.’

She spoke in court about a troubled relationship between Michael and Alissa.

Alissas biological father, who was also in court during the trial, told ABC15 he believes Michael is guilty.