Detective Armando Saldate, Jr. had a reputation for being able to solve cases through interrogations that resulted in confessions. Although his supervisor had ordered him to tape record the interrogation, Saldate did not do so. Milke was charged with capital murder, conspiracy to commit murder, child abuse and kidnapping. Milke denied confessing and accused Saldate of fabricating her supposed statements. Despite a lack of evidence or proof of a confession Milke was convicted in 1990. She was exonerated in 2015.
Attorneys for Milke filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Saldate, who had retired, as well as numerous other Phoenix police officers, and the Maricopa County District Attorney’s Office. In 2020, the lawsuit was dismissed.