"I said, 'I know you're the one who killed Amy,'" she recalls. He had a few girls he was extra close to, like the girl who sat in front of me. It's the big unsolved mystery of the area. Revealed to have close relationships with some students, In 2005, investigators reveal that other girls from the area had, received similar calls to Amy trying to lure them to a public place. Amy was the subject of my first crime article - and my first book. inappropriate behavior and unwanted physicality? Over three decades after the kidnapping of 10-year-old Amy Mihaljevic in northeast Ohio, local police said this week that newly-discovered DNA on a blanket and a curtain could be the key to solving the decades-old cold case. Thus, Amy found herself home alone every afternoon for about an hour before her brother Jason came home from school. Search. [2 . Amy Mihaljevic. When re-interviewed in 2009, two witnesses picked Runkle out a lineup of nearly 30 men as the most similar to the man they remember seeing (Lewis, 2009). Amy Mihaljevic disappeared in 1989 when she was ten years old. The first place I stopped was a chain restaurant that Runkle reportedly frequented in Ohio. But only a handful crossed paths with each of the girls the abductor attempted to seduce over the phone before successfully luring Amy to the shopping center that day - the clue upon which the entire case hinges, the one way in which the killer was careless. Whether there is enough to convict is a whole separate argument. Hes a suspect who looks good from a standpoint of circumstantial evidence, but when we need concrete evidence it all falls apart. I pull the car over and hop out. No mention of that investigation was contained in his personnel file. Some of them have been suspects for years and decades.. Send a News Tip. Hes also a person of authority whom Amy wouldve known and trusted. He promptly began building a new zoo and inviting kids to help with the animals after school. Edit: Press conference just ended. A pair of sisters had also received a call from a man who claimed to be a friend of their mothers. He asked them if they remembered writing their names and home numbers in a logbook by the front doors. Im not sure how he explained to Amy that he knew that her mother had gotten a promotion on October 27th on that fateful phone call. As it happens, the soup kitchen is scheduled to serve free lunch in a half-hour. But something happened in 1987. But don't tell her what we're doing. Searchers discovered Amy's body on February 9, 1990. A search warrant for the suspects house was executed, but no evidence linking the man to Amy was found. Search for a Topic. I thought about showing his picture to the managers, but then scolded myself for thinking it would be so easy. The curtain is homemade, and was originally Avocado green. Renner never got in touch with him again. But the only student they know who went inside was a boy named Dan, who attended Sailorway Middle School. Initial evidence found at the scene suggested that she had been dumped there shortly after her abduction, maybe on the day itself. He was immediately brought in for questioning. None had ever talked to a reporter, until they found me in 2006. Her body was found in Ashland County - about 50 miles away - a few months later. But no one knows Runkle. I can tell whatever I want to. So, take a look. He's doing OK. 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, he said. Two witnesses said they saw Amy that day with a man who would now be in his mid-50s or early '60s. Lanning helped create the Behavioral Science Unit in Quantico, Virginia, where FBI agents are trained. I'm still going on the fact that Mr. Case knew everyone from that small town and he did not say that Dean Runkle was the man that was with the unknown child . Dan says their relationship was never physical. These other girls went to school in North Olmsted and were roughly the same age as Amy, about 10 or 11. "Amy!" When would I have had time to kill her? Cleveland newspaper reporter James Renner investigated Mihaljevic's murder case and concluded that a teacher named Dean Runkle should be viewed as a prime suspect. She was popular, funny, kind and energetic. How much time would that give DR to rush out after work, find a pay phone or some other way of calling, then make the call? Then, in August 2008, a man named Tony Perchinsky called to tell me that he'd heard from a local cop that the man who'd been Perchinsky's eighth-grade science teacher in 1991, Dean Runkle, was a suspect in Amy's case. Everyone standing in line at the Flagler soup kitchen wants to help. We know where she was found. Renner never made contact until he was about to leave town. Meet Dean Runkle, former teacher of the year from Amherst, Ohio. Her murder case raised national attention. The new information still led to no significant new leads or suspects. Amy attended the local middle school, and her older brother Jason attended the local high school in 1989. First Look: Campus Pollyeyes, Opening Next Week in Little Italy, Arthur Treacher's in Garfield Heights Reopened by New Owner Who Plans More Locations in Ohio. In 1971, he quit teaching for two years to play ragtime at Disneyland. Ten-year-old Amy was lured from her Bay Village home on Oct. 27, 1989, to a shopping center at Dover Center . That way I really get to know the kids and they get to know me, and we understand each other that way.". Oct 15. Who Killed Amy Renee Mihaljevic. "I walk a lot," he says. The FBI brought in a sketch artist, and the artist was able to create a composite sketch of the man based on the two witness accounts. Since Runkle is exceptionally well liked as a teacher by many former students, Renner became the subject of strong criticism, unlike anything he had faced from naming previous suspects, when he named Runkle. Jay Elish. This is the kind of thing that a killer only learns with experience. DR was a teacher at a middle school, which let out later than Amys school did. He arranged to meet Amy after school that day to help her buy a gift for her mom for a work promotion. Thousands of tips have come in throughout the years, but no one has ever been arrested. The curtain is incredibly unique and likely homemade. Cleveland newspaper reporter James Renner investigated Mihaljevic's murder case and concluded that a teacher named Dean Runkle should be viewed as a prime suspect. Last Friday, I flew to Miami, then drove to Key West, where Dean Runkle has been living since his abrupt departure from Ohio in 2003, which occurred as investigators began to question his relatives and co-workers. Search for a Topic. She watches as he walks up to Amy and puts a hand on her back. Today, Dan is living in a rundown apartment complex in Vermilion. James Renner Margaret ran home, called her husband Mark, and began calling all of Amys friends and neighbors asking if theyd seen her. As an FBI agent on the case said, we have the beginning and the end of what happened to Amy M, but what we dont have is the middle piece. Further evidence that supports the fact that Amy was not this killers first victim is the phone call they allowed Amy to make to her mother at work around 3:30pm on the day she disappeared. But he remains free, managing a restaurant in Florida. Ken Lanning dislikes the word "profiler" and seldom uses it, but that's what most people would call him. However, his confession proved to be false after investigations revealed that he had been institutionalized on the day that she was abducted. A large volunteer search party with dogs and flashlights found nothing. If youre interested in learning more about Amys case, please check out James Renners book about this case Amy: My Search for Her Killer now available on Audible. Unfortunately, Ryan didnt remember this incident until years after Amys body was found. Birth Sign Sagittarius. Not only is it not a list, but there is NO ATTRIBUTION for it. So by definition, the 3 are still the "most likely suspects". In late October 1989, Amy Mihaljevic was lured to a suburban Ohio shopping center by an unknown male who had befriended her via conversations on the phone, and she was never seen alive again. I was always at school. and our I ask. No one went out after dark. using the same gift shopping ruse (Renner, 2008). In March, I learned that the FBI was planning to re-interview an intriguing suspect whom they'd been looking at since 2002 and had interviewed in '05. They intend to keep it open for the next 30 years until it is solved. Blood was also found inside of her underwear. Many were just look-alikes, men who resembled the sketch circulated by police but who otherwise could not be linked to the crime. For more info about Amy's case, you can read through the blog I've devoted to it since 2006. For more info about Amy's case, you can read through the blog I've devoted to it since 2006. 10-year-old Amy grew up in Bay Village, OH, an altogether peaceful town on the shores of Lake Erie. Someone stitched this together inside their home and hung on their tall, narrow window. One is that the killer felt remorse for what theyd done, and returning Amys body would give some peace and closure to Amys family, and allow them to bury her properly. Whether it came out of that persons house, whether it came out of the location where Amy was killed. One of them spots the girl spinning around the pole, seemingly without a care in the world. This is a huge reason why I dont like DR as a suspect. Amy may have resisted and fought back - indeed, her fingernails were chipped, according to the coroner's report - causing her abductor to become violent in order to regain control. Renner interviewed all of Amys friends and teachers decades after the murder about the nature center. In early 1990 her body was found. Some believed that this suspect could have been teacher Dean Runkle, according to James Renner . "This is where I'm at," says Amy, and walks alone across the nearly empty parking lot toward Baskin-Robbins. He talked about the blow-up dolls he kept at home and the way the dashboard of his Grand Prix looked like breasts. I do not believe that so much evidence can point to one person and it be just a coincidence. As of 2014, her homicide remained unsolved. On October 27th, 1989, 10-year-old Amy Mihaljevic disappeared from a shopping center near her home in Bay Village, OH. I remember when he saw one girl with a skirt that was way too short, he said, 'That's not appropriate, but I'm glad you wore it to my class.' . They thrive off the increased risk of being caught, so they start leaving bodies out in the open and leaving behind trace evidence. "If you do become a violent guy, you better be victimizing strangers," explains Lanning. "I know I'm their top suspect. The other students assumed the man was a friend or relative, and that Amy knew him, so they thought nothing of it. Reddit and its partners use cookies and similar technologies to provide you with a better experience. Anything is possible." Cleveland newspaper reporter James Renner investigated Mihaljevic's murder case and concluded that a teacher named Dean Runkle should be viewed as a prime suspect. Investigators from Bay Village and the FBI know of this man. In February 1990, when Amys body was found in an Ashland County field, a curtain and a blanket were discovered 300 yards away. He told them he needed their help to pick out a present and asked them to come with him to the store. The report that was done by fox 8 said no sperm was found referenced a 1989 report that used 1989 technology. The man spoke to her for a few seconds, and then led her away from the sidewalk. Thursday marks 33 years since Amy was taken from a shopping plaza in Bay Village. Again, no one remembered the name. Edit: Press conference just ended. Sometime that week, a man had called Amy at home, after school, when she was there alone. He knew Amy and her friends. The report of a missing child from their own neighborhood frightened every soul in Bay Village. Multiple witnesses say that he matches the man they saw with Amy the day she vanished. IDs The Lake Erie Murders: Who Killed Amy Mihaljevic? explores the chilling case of the abduction and murder of a 10-year-old girl in broad daylight. Almost 30 years later, Amys killer is still at large. Nothing is that simple, I told myself. He looks more like the sketch than anyone I have seen before. Turning the corner, he says, "I have nothing to confess to.". Most of the 100 or so who replied remembered his fondness for Dr. Pepper and disdain for yawning in his class or saying "yeah" instead of "yes." He then corroborated what each witness said with what they told police back in 1989 immediately after the disappearance. Dean Runkle was born in the mid 1940's in New London, Ohio, on a farmhouse only a few miles away from where Amy Mihaljevic's body would be found on County Road 1181, 45 years later. She was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and she later moved to a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. 4. Mark remarried about six years after Amys disappearance in 1995. Runkle was a twin, but his sister died in 1950, when they were 6. As per our current Database, Amy Mihaljevic died on Oct 27, 1989 (age 10). That night, Amys photo appeared on the evening news. I spoke to him last week to better understand the mind and behavior of the man who killed Amy Mihaljevic. Amys body was only ever found because her killer wanted it that way. "He would stare at me in class," says Kim Raeburn. Runkle!" She didnt recognize the mans voice. someone shouts. Real Name: Amy Renee Mihaljevic Nicknames: No known nicknames Location: Bay Village, Ohio Date: October 27, 1989 Amy Mihaljevic. He was very touchy." Joseph, real name Robert Ivan Nichols, committed suicide in Eastlake, Ohio, in 2002, but when investigators were unable to locate his family at the time, they discovered that he had stolen the identity of an eight-year-old boy who was killed in a car crash in 1945. Copyright 2021 WOIO. "When I went to school, there was this wall - student on this side, teacher over here," he said in an interview that ran in the Lorain Morning Journal that year. In 1994, Christina Adkins says she overheard Runkle say something that shocked her. The FBI got involved in this case almost immediately to lend their resources to the Bay Village Police Department. He kept a cot in a side room and sometimes slept there overnight. Facts About Amy Mihaljevic. Dean lived a tumultuous early life, dealing with an abusive father and the tragic death of his 6-year-old twin sister in 1950. Dean Runkle sigue siendo el principal sospechoso en el caso, segn un agente del FBI, pero el caso en su contra sigue siendo circunstancial. By the time police made this connection, the log book had vanished from the nature center. In 1990 when the body was found, forensic testing for DNA as we know it now and other trace evidence was not yet available. C 27 Octobre 1989) tait un tudiant l'cole primaire , g de dix ans amricain qui a t enlev et assassin dans l'tat amricain de l' Ohio en 1989. . "I'm meeting a friend.". Amy Mihaljevic disappeared on October 27, 1989. Amy Mihaljevic - Suspect - Dean Runkle. There are no samples, according to Elish, currently being tested in a lab. She said she was going with a friend to the Bay Square Shopping Center. For their part, Bay Village police detectives do not consider Runkle as the only suspect in the case and continue to work all leads. They also start taking trophies. Friends said she never recovered from Amys death and the lack of solid leads in solving the case. BAY VILLAGE, Ohio Investigators Thursday revealed new evidence they believe will help solve the kidnapping and murder of Amy Mihaljevic. Police say that a man identified by his ex-girlfriend as a possible suspect in the death of Amy Mihaljevic told investigators he may have called the 10-year-old girl prior to her abduction . A curtain, held for decades as potential evidence, just became an even bigger piece of the puzzle in solving the decades-old mystery. As is the case in many child abductions, I believe the motive in Amys case was sexual assault, but then Amy couldve identified the perpetrator, so she had to be killed. He got a job teaching seventh-grade science at Sailorway Middle School in Vermilion in 1967. At the time of the crime, he was wearing a beige windbreaker with plaid lining, front-pressed khakis, and a button-up shirt. Bay Village, . She was never seen again. Renner parked his car and confronted Runkle. Police responded to the Mihaljevic house almost immediately, and began interviewing Amys family and friends over the next few days. She did not tell the girls who she was waiting for, but she did tell them she received a mysterious phone call right after she got home from school from a man claiming to be a friend of her mothers. Her last meal was reported to be a soy substance . But, they did classify that although he looked quite presentable, he didnt carry himself in a way that an accomplished or a professional person might. BAY VILLAGE, Ohio (WOIO) - Nearly 32 years after her murder, there's a new clue in the Amy Mihaljevic case. There is a press conference scheduled for tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. EST. I will be there and will update this thread asap. "I don't have anything to say." And then Maddie sees the man. But when Renner questioned other teachers and students, they all confirmed that this teacher, Dean Runkle, did in fact frequent the nature center. Where? A homeless man says he thinks he has seen Runkle at a soup kitchen on Flagler Avenue before, but that was years ago. Several students say they were invited back to Runkle's apartment after school. It was only then, in 2005, that investigators first learned that each of them had gone to the nature center in the weeks leading up to the abduction. I call. 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The Ashland County field where Amy Mihaljevic's body was discovered on February 8, 1990. Amy is also well known as, Child murder victim who was kidnapped from an Ohio shopping center and whose body was found four months later in an Ashland County field. . Last year, they stated that they are extensively investigating all the suspects in connection with this particular case and feel that when they identify Amys killer, Joseph would most likely be on their list. Although Renner describes Runkle as an eccentric teacher, no hard evidence supports this view. Only Amy and her killer will ever know the answer. The offender is identified to be a white male. Why do you think Amys body was recovered where it was? It wouldnt have been unusual for Amy to go there alone or with friends. The police also released a letter to all households with school-age children asking if they had received any mysterious phone calls similar to the one that lured Amy out to the shopping center. 1949). I ask him how so much circumstantial evidence could line up against one person. The mother of one of Amys friends drove down to the local news station to have them display a photo of Amy with a notice that she was reported missing. Amy Mihaljevic From conversations with the nature center's staff (I had donated some of the book's profits to the organization, in memory of Amy, and so had reason to talk to them occasionally), I learned that Bay Village Det. Amy Renee Mihaljevic was just 10 years old when her life was cut short in 1989. Moments later, I pull up in front of the apartments, which are actually a dozen separate buildings surrounded by a chain-link fence. Read more about this topic: Amy Mihaljevic, Suspect, Confession, alas, is the new handshake.Richard Dean Rosen (b. Currently, a top suspect in the unsolved abduction and murder of Amy Mihaljevic. There were phone calls made to other girls that were just like the one Amy received. Amy told her mother she was ok and that she was at home now, and then quickly hung up. Other tips were called in about a local handyman who had been doing some work on a house down the street from the Mihaljevics. Sagittarius Named Amy . **See the blog below for more** It was October 27, 1989 . Material that was collected at the scene may contain the killers DNA. Amy Mihaljevic is a famous Child murder victim. A female student from his 1989 class says she noticed the similarities between Runkle and the composite sketch of Amy's abductor. A teacher at Amys middle school had told police back in 1989 that he had never heard of the nature center and had nothing to do with the establishment. Jason reported that Amy had not come home in the time he had been there. Runkle was born in New London and grew up in a farmhouse just a couple miles from where Amy's body was dumped, along County Road 1181. According to reporter James Renner, Dean Runkle is a possible prime suspect in the FBI investigation. His hair is thick and bushy above his eyes. Today, in his late 70s, he remains free and resides in Key West, Florida, where he works as a restaurant shift manager. The fact that Amys body was left in an open area with the blanket her body was carried in leads me to believe that this killer was getting confident, and that they were familiar with this territory. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. When I ask him if he could have used the logbook at the nature center to gather phone numbers for girls in North Olmsted, he says he's done talking and begins to walk away. During those delays, I learned that Runkle was that suspect. in 1989where Runkle frequently volunteered (Renner, 2008).