Police, college students, Crimestoppers team up to tackle 1981 Newburgh Heights suspicious death

17-year old vanished after party, found dead 5 days later.

Police, college students, Crimestoppers team up to tackle 1981 Newburgh Heights suspicious death

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The case of Kurt Sova got national attention in the 1980s; the story of a party, him coming outside and disappearing.

His mother speaking of her shock at the time: “I didn’t in my wildest dreams think they’d find him dead,” she said on the crime drama show “Unsolved Mysteries” in 1988.

Today, the case is alive again with a unique approach: A partnership among Newburgh Heights police, Crimestoppers and a team of students from Tiffin University; all students with backgrounds in criminal justice, forensics and crime related training. They’re a fresh set of eyes.

“We feel as though there was somebody who was at this party who knew something,” said Newburgh Heights Chief John Majoy.

He believes it is too late for science and technology to solve the case. He believes that word of mouth will.

Sova’s mother, now gone, may be a key due to her never stopping her search. She kept tons of material that her son Kevin found as he cleared out the family home on Hosmer in Cleveland.

“We have boxes of information, handwritten notes that she kept that would shame a lot of investigators frankly with the amount of time and energy that she put into this,” Majoy told a briefing.

Sova’s body was found on it’s back, arms outstretched almost like a crucifix with one shoe missing, a possible tie to another murder.

The cause of death was listed as probably accidental.

Sova’s body was found in a ravine five days after the disappearance, but his family always had problems with the accident theory because they say they searched this just a day before the body was found and the body didn’t show signs of having tumbled down an embankment.

“This is long overdue to find the answers to why Kurt is no longer here. That’s all we want whatever it happens, whatever it tells us,” said Sova’s brother, Kevin.

It echoed a sentiment from Sova’s mother in the 1988 crime show.

She said, ″For my peace of mind, I want to know what happened to my boy."

Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Contact them at 216-25CRIME.

Copyright 2019 WOIO. All rights reserved.