IL IL - Tammy Zywicki, 21, La Salle, 23 Aug 1992

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by Mom2threestooges, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. Mom2threestooges

    Mom2threestooges New Member

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    This happened not too far from me, and at the time of her disappearance I was traveling back and forth between Indiana and DeKalb Illinois and was scared snotless.....prayers that her family can get some answers.

    http://www.nbc5.com/news/4892170/detail.html?z=dp&dpswid=2265994&dppid=65194

    CHICAGO -- Investigators are marking the 13th anniversary of a notorious missing persons case with new leads and FBI agents are following recent tips in the cold case. College student Tammy Zywicki disappeared on Aug. 24, 1992.


    The investigation was one that, at first, had many promising leads; there was a driver who saw Tammy on the side of Interstate 80 in LaSalle County and a description of a big rig seen near her car.


    But as the years went by and no one was arrested for the crime, hope faded for the Zywicki family. That is, until this week, according to NBC5's Rob Elgas.


    Tammy was a college student, traveling through Illlinois on her way back to school in Iowa.


    A few years ago, Zywicki's mother went on camera and begged for answers.


    "Someone knows something," she said. "Can someone come forward? Can we finally have an answer and know what happened to her?"


    Tammy's parents are now retired and live in Florida, but the thought that the co-ed's murderer may still be alive haunts them.


    "I miss her, and I know my wife does," the victim's father said. "And there are times we'll see something, even a similar type of case, and immediately Tammy comes to mind."


    Elgas said that FBI agents who re-examine cold case files are investigating two new tips. Agent Ross Rice told The Philadelphia Inquirer, "We can't say if they will or will not be helpful until we complete the investigation."


    Zywicki was last seen near mile marker 83 on interstate 80. Enroute to Grinnel College, her car was abandoned and she was suddenly nowhere to be found.


    Nine days later, some 500 miles away, Zywicki's body was found along interstate 44. She was wrapped in a blanket, had been sexually assaulted and stabbed eight times.


    But the investigation initially had leads. People posted fliers everywhere, hoping someone had information on a truck like the one seen near where the woman disappeared.


    A former state police sergeant believes there are several people who could provide new information in this investigation.


    Martin McCarthy told The Philadelphia Inquirer that a nurse's husband, who died three years ago, might have been seen helping Zywicki on the side of the road. That man had served time in prison for attempted murder and was from the LaSalle area. He also lived near the location where her body was found.


    Investigators never had enough evidence to charge anyone in the case, but the investigation continues
     
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  3. LazyCat08

    LazyCat08 I may not be Glenn Beck, but I am a thinker......

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    How sad, did they ever figure out if she was having car trouble or if she pulled off the road for another reason? Were the police able to recover forensic evidence from the body?
     
  4. fotoaus

    fotoaus New Member

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    yes they did recover dna however the main person of interest died in the early 90's if i recall, I had posted a lot of stuff about tammy on websleuths but it all disappeared. this is still an open case with the FBI
     
  5. fotoaus

    fotoaus New Member

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    if you can find the posting of the martin McCarthy report to the papers it will give you a lot of info about this case
     
  6. Bobbisangel

    Bobbisangel New Member

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    If the person who was a person of interest or suspect died why can't LE get a court order and exhume him and take DNA from a bone? That way they can rule him in or out. It seems like that is something that they would have done long ago. If he is the killer then LE won't have to keep looking. I would want to know about him if I were the parents.
     
  7. fotoaus

    fotoaus New Member

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    that a Dam good question- why hasn't that guy been eliminated it would tell them that the murderer is dead and the case could be closed or they have to go on looking and get closure for Mrs Zywicki and her husband
    Something I thought was strange was this piece in and article by Karrie Higgins Interstate Radiographs © 2001
    Quote
    “But because the body was too decayed for visual identification, and because Tammy’s dental records were enroute to the Lawrence County coroner, everyone waited,” Unquote. Seems to tell me that Tammy was killed within 24hrs of her abduction for her body to have deteriorated to the point of being unidentifiable when found nine days later.
     
  8. audrey77

    audrey77 CJ Analyst

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    From what I've read, the evidence taken from Tammy is not sufficient for DNA typing with today's technology... It's not that they can't get DNA from the suspect, it's that the evidence from Tammy is not suitable- yet- who know's about possible typing in the future.
     
  9. SewingDeb

    SewingDeb "Sorry, I'm not qualified to land the plane."

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    A look at the unsolved Tammy Zywicki slaying

    Aug. 23 marks the 15th anniversary of the disappearance of Tammy Zywicki, whose slaying remains unsolved. Here are a few facts about the case:

    snip

    WITNESS ACCOUNTS: Zywicki was last seen with her car at I-80's mile marker 83, between 3:10 p.m. and 4 p.m. the day she disappeared. A tractor-trailer was seen parked behind her vehicle. The truck's driver was described as a white man between 35 and 40 years old, over 6 feet tall, with dark, bushy hair.

    THE LATEST: Investigators are scrutinizing whether there's any link between the Zywicki case and Bruce Mendenhall, a man from Albion, Ill., who police say has confessed to six killings in several states, Zywicki's not among them. Mendenhall was arrested last month at a truck stop in Nashville, Tenn.
     
  10. SewingDeb

    SewingDeb "Sorry, I'm not qualified to land the plane."

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    Ocala mom braces as 15th anniversary of daughter's slaying nears

    Fifteen years since her drive back to college took a violent and deadly turn in Illinois, Tammy Zywicki is seldom far from her mother's thoughts. Subtle items throughout the family's Ocala, Fla., home make it so.

    http://www.jacksonville.com/apnews/stories/080407/D8QQ28U80.shtml
     
  11. concernedperson

    concernedperson Former Member

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    These kind of cases rip me apart. Although this family has a body to bury they don 't have justice for her demise. So, many families don't have a body to bury and visit. It is like losing your children on life's way and no one knows what happened. Usually, this is done when they are adults but not always.

    Missing and murdered people are such horrific crimes in our society. It leaves an open wound that never heals. That rips daily, monthly, yearly and their loved ones never get found. I pray that more educational funds are allocated to those who do work these crimes and I pray that judges either appointed or elected began to follow the law that keeps sex offenders in prison. It is a start. Not an answer, but a start.
     
  12. imamaze

    imamaze Former Member

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    Originally posted by:anneinchicago, moved to cold case board for discussion.


    Justice for Tammy Zywicki?
    This time of year, my thoughts always turn to Tammy Zywicki. On August 23, 1992, she went missing after her car broke down on Interstate 80. Her body was found nine days later, wrapped in a blanket and dumped along Interstate 44 in Missouri. She had been stabbed eight times.
    Her killer has never faced justice... More...

    Murder of Tammy J. Zywicki
    The Crime:
    On August 23, 1992, Tammy J. Zywicki departed Evanston, Illinois, for college in Grinnell, Iowa, where she was expected to arrive that evening. Later that day, Zywicki's car was found by an Illinois State Trooper and ticketed as being abandoned. On August 24, 1992, the vehicle was towed by the Illinois State Police. On that same evening, Zywicki's mother contacted the Illinois State Police and advised them that her daughter had not arrived at college...More...
     
  13. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

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    I remember when this happened like it was yesterday. I recall the description of the semi seen parked near where Tammy's car broke down. It had an unusual striped design and IIRC one of the colors was purple. I've searched for info on Tammy over the years and long before I found WS. I have read about two 'suspects' or persons of interest. One with the last name Mendenhall who confessed to other murders and another, Lonnie Bierbodt, who has since passed away. (I'm unsure if Mendenhall is still living.) What I can't find is whether or not either of these two men were ruled out via current DNA testing. Does anyone know? I live near an IL state trooper and the next time I bump into him I'll ask him if he knows or can find out.

    I'm glad to see this posted here at WS. Hopefully we can find some answers that Tammy's family so deserves.
     
  14. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

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    I finally ran into my neighbor who is a state trooper. I passed along the two names previously mentioned regarding dna testing and asked if he could check into whether or not they were ruled out or for any updates.
    He is not a detective, but hopefully he can find out.

    I'll update when I get any further info.

    Also, I did give him the info on WS, so perhaps he might drop in and read here a bit.
     
  15. imamaze

    imamaze Former Member

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    Thanks Cubby, that would be great if you could let us know if he finds out any info!!
     
  16. scrabble

    scrabble New Member

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    Did they ever find the killer of poor Tammy Zywicki?
     
  17. traveler

    traveler New Member

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    I was in college in northern Illinois when this happened and I have been looking for updates for years, but I was spelling her name wrong and couldn't find anything. I'm glad to see Tammy's case here on WS, but so sad that her murderer has never been caught. It's hard to believe it has been almost 17 years.
     
  18. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    Hope this helps. From a 2007 article...

    ... Tammy Zywicki would have turned 36 last spring, but tragedy forever keeps her 21 in her mother's mind: Long blond hair and glasses, always looking tan. Nice, pretty teeth in a family where good choppers aren't the norm. Never a fan of makeup, "she had a good, clean scrubbed look," JoAnn Zywicki recalls.


    "She was just natural; that's a good word. For lack of a better term, she was an all-American girl," the mother said recently in a telephone interview from her home in central Florida. "She was not a really girly girl. She was more comfortable in T-shirts and shorts than anything. She just had a well-rounded attitude."


    The kind of young woman, one of her coaches once remarked, who would be comfortable eating cheeseburgers for breakfast. The 5-foot-2, 120-pound woman loved naps, cats, photography and soccer.


    She played halfback at Iowa's Grinnell College, the small school where she was to be a senior in the fall of 1992. Tammy, then from Marlton, N.J., was mulling graduate school, aspiring to perhaps teach Spanish some day.


    It wasn't meant to be.


    Tammy had just dropped off her younger brother at Northwestern University in suburban Chicago and had turned her 1985 Pontiac T1000 toward Grinnell on Aug. 23, 1992, when the car broke down along Interstate 80 near LaSalle, Ill.


    A passer-by caught the last glimpses of her alive there at mile marker 83, hunched over her car's raised hood with a trucker who had stopped, ostensibly to help. A tractor-trailer was seen parked behind her car.


    Tammy's body turned up nine days later hundreds of miles away along an interstate highway in southwest Missouri, shrouded in a red blanket sealed with duct tape. The young woman, who once wrote in a high school journal she didn't want to suffer when she died, had been stabbed repeatedly in the chest. She bled to death.


    The horror of the story grabbed headlines: A college co-ed, in distress after her car fails her along a freeway, is snatched up, possibly by a predator trucker prowling the nation's highways posing as a Good Samaritan.


    JoAnn Zywicki doesn't allow herself to think about what her daughter went through.


    "I kind of put it in the past," the mother says, content clinging to one thing survivors of the slain can't always cling to as solace: "At least we have a body."


    Finding the killer is another matter.


    After Tammy's body was found, Illinois State Police joined forces with the FBI and other agencies in a task force, but it disbanded the next year. The investigation since, the FBI's Ross Rice laments, has been nothing short of "very frustrating."


    "There haven't been any fruitful leads," punctuated by the lack of arrests or charges, Rice says from the FBI's Chicago office. "Nothing has panned out."


    Truckers suspected in killings and sexual attacks elsewhere, from North Carolina to California, eventually were eliminated from suspicion in Tammy's death.


    "After so many years, you always have hope, but you don't let it take over," JoAnn Zywicki says. "Whenever something has come up, you learn to handle it in a better way. As you get older, you try to take as much stress out of it as you can."


    "You just never know what the one little thing is that holds the key to everything," she says. "There's somebody who knows something."...
    More at link...

    LINK to Life on the Row - ~ The Unsolved Murder Of A Daughter ~:

    http://lifeontherow.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=ucrimes&action=display&thread=2151
     
  19. scriptgirl

    scriptgirl Active Member

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    Thank you. That is the case I meant
     
  20. gaia227

    gaia227 I have never taken any exercise except sleeping an

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    I remember this case. I grew up in Springfield, MO. Tammy's body was dumped along I-44 stretch between Springfield and Joplin. The summer of 1992 saw the disappearence of three women from Springfield and the area was still reeling from that when Tammy's body turned up. At first it was speculated it was one of the three missing women as it matched the description of Suzi Streeter one of the missing women - those women have never been found. There is an extensive thread about them here in the spotlight forum.


    Here are some additional links about Tammy:


    http://crime.about.com/od/unsolved/p/zywicki.htm

    http://www.iowacoldcases.com/tammy_zywicki.html

    http://thecando.blogspot.com/2009/02/tammy-zywicki-coincidences.html

    http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Alt/alt.true-crime/2007-08/msg01962.html
     
  21. Julessleuther

    Julessleuther New Member

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