Thursday, February 11, 2016

My New Book, True Crime Addict, Will Contain Some New Info On Amy's Case

My next book, True Crime Addict, comes out May 24 and you can preorder it today!

True Crime Addict is mostly about my search for Maura Murray, a young nursing student who went missing in the White Mountains, in 2004. But it also contains some new information about the Amy Mihaljevic case, including details on a specific suspect in her abduction who came to my attention while I investigated this other mystery.

Look for it in your local bookstore or order online!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Child-Killer Daniel Kevin Furlong May Have Been in Ohio in 1989

Police in Michigan recently arrested a man named Daniel Kevin Furlong for the cold case murder of 11-year-old Jodi Parrack, following another attempted abduction of a young girl.

Furlong pleaded guilty last month to the crime and will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars. His DNA will be entered into the system.

The nature of the abduction and murder are similar in some ways to Amy Mihaljevic's case and detectives are interviewing him about Amy - and the April Tinsley cold case - this week, according to a source close to the investigation. The same source says Furlong worked for General Motors (the same company Mark Mihaljevic worked for) and would sometimes transfer to Ohio locations for 6-week stints.

More to come.

Friday, October 30, 2015

CNN Profiles Amy's Case

CNN profiles Amy's case - and using social media to prompt new leads in cold cases.

"Everybody has that case, that moment in time when you realize you live in a dangerous world," said Renner, now a married father of two in the Cleveland area. "I realized if it could happen to her, it could happen to me."

Check it out.

Monday, October 26, 2015

To Amy's Killer, On the 26th Anniversary

It's time to come in.

You've lived with what you did for 26 years, now. Every day you remember it. It sneaks up on you wherever you are, whatever you do, and you fight to put it away, again. That's no way to live. What quality of life can you have when it's always on your mind? You can do good things, but they will always be tainted by what you did to Amy Mihaljevic, in 1989.

Amy's family needs closure. They've asked for it for 26 years. The best thing you can do in this life is to give that to them.

Call me. I'll get you a lawyer. We'll help you surrender. We'll find you a nice, warm place with three square meals a day and you can spend 20 years there. You're still young enough that you might enjoy freedom, with an unburdened soul, again one day.

If you wait for the police to come for you, you will go to a rough prison and you will sit there until you will be executed.

And they will come. One day, they will come. They have your DNA. And while you've stayed clean since this murder, and you know they have nothing to match it to, one day that DNA will give up your identity. Last year, scientists invented a new device that allows police to feed a DNA sequence through a computer that targets markers that determine how a face is formed. It gives them a picture of what your face looks like. Better than any composite. They will do this. And soon.

Give yourself up while you can still negotiate your terms. Do it, today.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Amy's Killer May Have Called Akron Girl in 1989

The key to solving Amy's case may be in finding out her relationship to the several other girls who received stalker called in 1989. Girls from North Olmsted also got a call from the man police believe to be Amy's killer in the fall of 89. Since then they have been trying to identify anyone who knew the girls from North Olmsted, and Amy from Bay Village. We may have to widen our search.

I was recently contacted by a woman from Akron, who was called by a man when she was a girl in 1989. "He told me that my mom had been doing really well at work and that he wanted me to help get her a nice gift. Maybe Neil Diamond tickets." The timing and the similarities to what the man said to Amy make me think this really could be the same guy.

At the time, the girl's mother worked as a realtor -- mostly in the Akron area, but sometimes parts of Cuyahoga County. The man on the phone also said he once watched this girl swimming at a pool in Tallmadge. They had recently visited the Cleveland Zoo.

Another interesting bit, which may be a weird coincidence or something more: this girl's mother worked with serial killer Robert Buell before his arrest in 1983. Buell visited her home at least once. I've always believed Buell did not act alone when he abducted and murdered Krista Harrison. The man I believed helped him is still free.

It's also worth noting that this woman contacted Bay Village police and FBI a few years ago to share her story but nobody called her back. Seems like a very good tip to me. I would go over this woman's life with a fine-toothed comb to see how she might have crossed paths with the girls from North Olmsted or Amy Mihaljevic.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Metroparks Director Altered His Schedule Around Amy's Case

In 2013, former MetroParks director Vern Hartenburg was the subject of several tips given to police by multiple sources, including MetroParks rangers. At issue was Hartenburg's strange past of sexual misadventures inside his parks.

We knew then that Hartenburg voluntarily committed himself to a mental health facility 10 days after Amy's abduction, in 1989. He told me, in person, that this was due to sexual urges and impulses he was afraid of. 

But a look at his timecards from 1990 reveals another anomaly in his routine. Generally, Hartenburg did not take much time off from work. But the week after Amy's body was found in Ashland County, he took sick days and vacation time.

It's worth noting that one of the things Amy and the girls from North Olmsted had in common was the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, which was inside Hartenburg's park system. He also attended Amy's church. Oh, and he has a history of creepery.

As of 2013, Hartenburg said he had not been interviewed by detectives.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Can You Help Us Solve Amy's Murder?

Amy Mihaljevic was murdered 25 years ago. Since then, police have received thousands of tips and recently a retired FBI agent was assigned to the case. But it has grown cold, again. All that is missing is one last clue, one last piece of the puzzle.

A national news crew is in town, doing a piece on how social media can breathe new life into these old cold cases. Can we kick up a new clue while they're here and national attention is focussed on this mystery?

Can you help us find that last piece?

Here is what we know, so far:

- In 1989, Amy's killer called her when she was home alone, and pretended to be a coworker of her mothers. He asked Amy to meet him at the Bay Village plaza with the promise that he would take her to buy a present for her mother.

- Amy met the man in the plaza on Friday, October 27, 1989. Two classmates saw a well-dressed man whisper into Amy's ear and then lead her around the corner.

- Her body was found 3 months later in an Ashland County wheat field, 50 miles from where she disappeared.

- Several other girls received calls from Amy's killer before her abduction. These girls lived in North Olmsted, south of Bay Village.

- Fibers found on Amy's body trace back to a brown Pontiac.

- Her killer may have kept a number of items that were never recovered. Turquoise horse-head earrings; a Buick "Best in Class" binder; her backpack; her boots.

Here is a list of people who were questioned by law enforcement or considered persons of interest at one time or another.

Can you find that one missing clue? A new theory? A new connection we've never noticed before?