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‘Now we know’: New clues in the Amy Mihaljevic case

New DNA evidence could help solve the decades old mystery.
Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 10:26 PM EDT
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BAY VILLAGE, Ohio (WOIO) - Nearly 32 years after her murder, there’s a new clue in the Amy Mihaljevic case.

Amy was just ten years old when she was kidnapped and stabbed to death. Her killer has never been caught.

A curtain, held for decades as potential evidence, just became an even bigger piece of the puzzle in solving the decades-old mystery.

In February 1990, when Amy’s body was found in an Ashland County field, a curtain and a blanket were discovered 300 yards away.

New DNA results reveal Amy’s hair was on both items.

The curtain is avocado green, a popular color in 1970s and 80s. It has deteriorated over the...
The curtain is avocado green, a popular color in 1970s and 80s. It has deteriorated over the years. It is tab-top style. Stitching pattern goes up and down at top and horizontal on bottom.(Source: WOIO)

“We knew in 2016, her dog’s hair was on the curtain, but now knowing her hair is on them tells us more and is a lot stronger,” explained Bay Village Detective Sergeant Jay Elish. “Our theory is that they were used to wrap her in before she was dumped where she was found.”

Detective Sergeant Elish believes anyone who can identify those items, the curtain especially, will help solve this case.

“If we can find out where that curtain came from or who owned that, we believe strongly that will take us to the person responsible for this.”

On October 27, 1989, Amy was lured to Bay Square shopping plaza by a man who had previously called Amy at her home.

He arranged to meet Amy after school that day to help her buy a gift for her mom for a work promotion. Amy was last seen walking away from the plaza, toward the parking lot, with that man.

One hundred days later, Amy’s body was found 50 miles away. She was stabbed to death.

“Usually, someone that would go this far is not someone who has never done that before or hasn’t done it again,” said Det. Sgt. Elish.

Investigators believe the suspect has ties to Bay Village and Ashland County.

Thousands of tips have come in throughout the years, but no one has ever been arrested.

“There are several people we are still looking at today as suspects for the case,” said Det. Sgt. Elish. “Some of them just came to our attention recently. Some of them have been suspects for years and decades.”

The investigation now relies heavily on advancements in DNA.

“We’re pursuing more so the angle of science now than we ever have in the past because DNA changes every couple of months,” said Det. Sgt. Elish.

There are no samples, according to Det. Sgt. Elish, currently being tested in a lab. He said knowing where the curtain came from and who it belonged to is so important right now.

“Whether it came out of that person’s house, whether it came out of the location where Amy was killed. We know where Amy was abducted. We know where she was found. We don’t know what happened in between there.”

The curtain is incredibly unique and likely homemade. Investigators think it could have been an old quilt turned into a curtain.

“This case to me, to solve it, not just to me, but for the police department and Amy’s family and really for Amy, would be everything for us.”

There is a $50,000 reward for information that leads to Amy’s killer. Call the Bay Village Police Department at (440) 871-1234.

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