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On a fateful Friday night in September, the Newberry High School student was trying to get to her boyfriends house. She couldn’t find a ride so started hitchhiking through Gainesville. “She was leaving home, she took her belongings and left them at a friend’s house and caught a ride with a neighbor of the friend’s into a popular spot where all the kids hung out.” That was the last place Betty Ann New was ever seen alive.

The next day a train traveling through Alachua stopped just west of Burnett’s Lake. Even today it’s an uninhabited area and one that, in 1974, wouldn't have been seen by anyone. “So the train had stopped and the brakeman in the back of the train, probably a little bored, he was just looking around, and he saw the body at the bottom of a ditch. Whoever killed her just discarded her like garbage in between a big mound of dirt and a railroad tracks. So they pull in the low side of the berm, they drag her out... boom. Figuring that she's not going to be found for a long time."

Betty Ann was found nude and badly decomposed. There were indications of sexual battery, but there was no indication of a suspect.

On September 6, 1974, the body of a 17-year-old white female was found in a stabbed to death in a field near Lake Burnett in Alachua County.