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32 years later, Mark Mihaljevic still hopeful his daughter’s killer will be found

New DNA evidence provides a new clue in the case
Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 4:57 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2021 at 6:33 PM EDT
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BAY VILLAGE, Ohio (WOIO) - More than three decades after Mark Mihaljevic’s daughter was abducted and murdered, new DNA evidence brings new hope that her killer will be found.

The day his daughter disappeared still haunts Mark Mihaljevic.

It was late at night on Oct. 27, 1989, and Mihaljevic was desperately circling neighborhoods in Bay Village.

He was searching for his 10-year-old daughter, Amy, who never came home from school.

Mihaljevic remembers making his way back to the middle school.

“We were riding around just looking and this was maybe 10 o’clock at night or something, and there was Amy’s bike in the bicycle rack, said Mark Mihaljevic. “Police still have that bicycle as evidence, but there it was, sitting there at 10 o’clock at night.”

But as vivid and as painful as those memories are, he will return to Bay Middle School, Wednesday, Oct. 27 for a community walk in Amy’s honor.

“The idea of the walk is, it’s not very far, one mile, just to keep Amy in the limelight,” said Mihaljevic. “It’s amazing that people are still extending the effort to get this resolved.”

It’s been 32 years since Amy was kidnapped and killed. The suspect has never been found.

“They are close. Closer than they were 15 years ago. They are close,” said Mihaljevic.

Investigators just released new results from DNA testing on a blanket and a curtain. The items were found 300 yards from Amy’s body in a field in Ashland County.

“For years, we did not know what role those items played. Everything that was found around Amy was taken as evidence and now we know that they had to have a connection to Amy because her hairs were on them,” said Det. Sergeant Jay Elish with the Bay Village Police Department.

Investigators believe Amy was wrapped in the items before her body was left in that field. Finding someone who recognizes that curtain, Elish said, will lead to Amy’s killer.

“They have not given up. They’re serious,” said Mihaljevic, thinking about the efforts of investigators.

He has long applauded the work of the police, the FBI, retired and current officers. He says for decades they have never given up on finding justice for his little girl. Mihaljevic is also thankful for community members in Bay Village, who have never forgotten.

Nothing will bring Amy back, but for him, solving the case may be the only thing that finally brings peace.

“It would sure put some closure to it. You’re right, it’ll never bring Amy back, but that’ll be a happy day.”

There is a $50,000 reward for information leading to Amy’s killer. Call 1-800-CALL-FBI with any tips.

The Walk for Amy is Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 5pm outside Bay Middle School on Wolf Road in Bay Village. For more information, head to walkforamy.org

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