OH OH - Amy Mihaljevic, 10, Bay Village, 27 Oct 1989

blanch simon

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wondering22 said:
clevescene.com | News | The Coldest Case | 2005-07-20


16 years after Amy Mihaljevic vanished, the hunt for her killer presses on.

By James Renner Published: Wednesday, July 20, 2005 ...

http://www.clevescene.com/Issues/2005-07-20/news/feature.html

- 25k - Jul 20, 2005 -
so now that your story has put this case in the right prospective do you think the killer will be caught soon?
 

blanch simon

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wondering22 said:
clevescene.com | News | The Coldest Case | 2005-07-20


16 years after Amy Mihaljevic vanished, the hunt for her killer presses on.

By James Renner Published: Wednesday, July 20, 2005 ...

http://www.clevescene.com/Issues/2005-07-20/news/feature.html

- 25k - Jul 20, 2005 -

just what the heck did Amy's mother say to the police that made them go full bore on this csae before she was missing 24 hours? It must have been a goodie!
 

Justice4Jack

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The missing girls list started in the 1950's with Beverly Potts, and since then ther have been Amy, Gina, and Amanda. Another child Shakira's murderer was found, but details are still sketchy.....

I know there have never been so many sexual predators in my neighborhood than now, and it's not safe to walk to the corner store......

2 years ago a young woman was shot going to a corner market for formula, as her husband waited outside the car with the newborn.....


It is just that the crimes are becoming more heinous and random, and the only lesson I think we should learn is to, never say never, and to kiss our children and loved ones each day and let them know they are loved......:blowkiss:
 

gardenmom

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Justice4Jack said:
The missing girls list started in the 1950's with Beverly Potts, and since then ther have been Amy, Gina, and Amanda. Another child Shakira's murderer was found, but details are still sketchy.....

I know there have never been so many sexual predators in my neighborhood than now, and it's not safe to walk to the corner store......

2 years ago a young woman was shot going to a corner market for formula, as her husband waited outside the car with the newborn.....


It is just that the crimes are becoming more heinous and random, and the only lesson I think we should learn is to, never say never, and to kiss our children and loved ones each day and let them know they are loved......:blowkiss:
You are so right about kissing your loved ones. I hurt my daughters feelings last night to the point that she went to bed crying. What happened was I was reading to her (she's 8), and her out of state grandma called. We ended up talking until her bedtime, so I told her I wasn't going to read to her. She was so upset. Then this morning I saw the book and felt really bad. It wouldn't have hurt to read to her a little more. I was thinking, what if I were never to see her again. How bad would I feel knowing the last thing she asked me to do I denied? Thanks for reminding me.
 

gardenmom

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There are a couple of threads on Amy that I am linking here. But, since this is a cold case, I thought this is a good place for her. Amy got a phone call from someone claiming her mother got a promotion at work and asked Amy to go with him to pick out a gift. 104 days later she was found murdered. Her killer has never been charged. There are many suspects in this case, including someone who committed suicide shortly after she was found, and several men with mental problems.

http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26626
http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44082


On October 27, 1989, 10-year-old Amy Mihaljevic was abducted from a public plaza

directly across the street from the police department in Bay Village, Ohio. Four months later, her body was discovered lying face down in an Ashland County wheat field, 50 miles away. The case has become one of Northeast Ohio's most frustrating unsolved murders.

http://www.freetimes.com/cover
 

HollywoodBound

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I haven't read the book but I have a couple questions. Who did Amy tell about the phone call to pick out a gift? I'm guessing she told someone because she wasn't seen after leaving to meet this person, right? Any descriptions of either the car or a person she was meeting? Thanks.
 

gardenmom

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HollywoodBound said:
I haven't read the book but I have a couple questions. Who did Amy tell about the phone call to pick out a gift? I'm guessing she told someone because she wasn't seen after leaving to meet this person, right? Any descriptions of either the car or a person she was meeting? Thanks.
The book isn't out yet, but is going to be out soon. One of the above links has excerpts from the book. She told her friend that she was going to meet a man about the gift, but told her not to tell anyone. After she was gone, the friend told the very next day. There is a description of the man, but I haven't read about a car. She was seen talking with the man at Baskin Robbins, I believe. That was the local hangout for the kids. I find that very unusual that he would meet her in such an open place. Her school got out at 2:10, and she called her mom at 3:00. Her mom assumed she was calling from home. I wonder how long it took her to get from the school to Baskin Robbins. She must have walked because her bike was found at the school. I recommend reading all the links above. This case has lots of twists and turn, IMO, and I'm surprised the killer hasn't been caught. I'm looking forward to the book to see who the author thinks is the killer.
 

gardenmom

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Thanks, taximom. I have posted this in the cold case forum. Unfortunately, this is cold. I hope some new leads come forward from James Renner.
 

Taximom

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gardenmom said:
Thanks, taximom. I have posted this in the cold case forum. Unfortunately, this is cold. I hope some new leads come forward from James Renner.
I just read his blog and he's reporting an interesting call he rec'd as a result of his article! I'm praying.....
 

Taximom

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www.wcpn.org

Scroll down to the article about Amy. Click on "Listen" and you can hear this morning's interview with James Renner, Amy's father, local police, FBI and other callers.

I was driving around and missed most of it, and my daughter turned the VCR off without me knowing(taping a local cable channel that airs that station) so I'm glad this interview was at the website!
 

Taximom

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www.wcpn.org

Scroll down to the article about Amy. Click on "Listen" and you can hear this morning's interview with James Renner, Amy's father, local police, FBI and other callers.

I was driving around and missed most of it, and my daughter turned the VCR off without me knowing(taping a local cable channel that airs that station) so I'm glad this interview was at the website!
 

Taximom

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Read the latest at James Renner's blog. The latest entry speaks of a new tip that sounds promising.
http://amymihaljevic.blogspot.com/

Admin, if I'm not allowed to post this link please let me know. I've told Mr. Renner about this website, so maybe he'll join at some point. I just think the info on his blog would be interesting to fellow websleuther's.

Thanks.
 

JamesRenner

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Chapter One

Taken

I fell in love with Amy Mihaljevic not long before her body was discovered lying facedown in an Ashland County wheat field. I fell for her the first time I saw that school photo Northeast Ohio TV stations flashed at the beginning of every newscast in the weeks following her kidnapping in the autumn of 1989—the photo with the side-saddle ponytail. First love in the heart of an eleven-year-old boy is consuming. One look at that brown-eyed girl and I knew that, if she had gone to my school, she would have been the one I passed notes to behind Miss Kline’s back.
But Amy didn’t go to my school. She went to Bay Middle, which was somewhere on another planet, far from the sub-suburban cow town where I lived with my father. I had a vague notion, though, that Bay Village was somewhere near my mother’s apartment in Rocky River. When I visited Mom every other weekend, I looked for Amy’s face in the crowds at Westgate Mall, hoping to find her wandering the aisles at Waldenbooks—as if she’d simply been lost there the whole time. I would be the one to lead her home.
Throughout the last part of October and the whole of November 1989, local newscasts began their six o’clock coverage with updates on the investigation. It was my routine to come home from school and turn on the TV to see if there were any new developments, to see if she’d finally been found. I watched closely. I learned to pronounce that difficult last name—“Mah-hal-leh-vick.” I memorized the face of her abductor from the police-artist sketches and searched for him in crowds.

With time, the reports became less frequent. A brief news segment in December covered her eleventh birthday party, which her family celebrated without her. Then the reports dropped off altogether. But I knew she was alive. She had to be. I was supposed to meet the girl in that photo. Maybe at a high-school football game five years in the future. Or in college. She would be found, and I would get to tell her that I never stopped looking for her.

On Thursday, February 8, 1990, I came home and flipped on the television. I sat cross-legged in front of it, and when the tube finally warmed up, her face was on the screen. It was that fifth-grade class picture again. I turned the volume up and listened as my innocence died.

Dead.

Murdered.

Dumped.

The news anchors cut to aerial pictures of County Road 1181 in Ashland County. Men in dark trench coats milled about a wheat field, tiny black specs in a sea of brown. The image was strangely corporeal, like the final glimpse of earth seen by a detached soul. It was here, they said, that Amy’s body had been found. A jogger had spotted what looked like a large doll lying on the frozen ground during a morning run. That patch of road they kept showing looked as far from the civilized cul-de-sacs of Bay Village as anyone could get. I didn’t see a single house in the background. Just a ragged field stretching to the horizon. It looked desolate. It looked unkind.

Police and FBI were guarded with information, but there were some details. We learned Amy was stabbed in the neck and hit on the head with a blunt instrument. No word on time of death. She was found fully clothed, but no one was sure what exactly that meant, yet. The composite sketches of her abductor appeared again, under an urgent voice-over. The news anchor couldn’t stress one fact enough—further tests were being conducted to determine if she had been sexually assaulted.

I swallowed the information like a diluted poison, feeling it burn away a kind of protective inner coating that had once made me feel safe. Years later, when I tried my first cigarette at Seven Ranges Boy Scout Camp, I would remember this feeling—like healthy tissue being singed by flames. Still, I couldn’t stop listening to the details. I couldn’t stop the words from forming scenarios in my head—silent films that obeyed all the new facts and ended with Amy’s body in that field.

I would not be the one who would find her and bring her back to her mother. That was a fantasy I could no longer indulge. Sitting there, staring into the smiling eyes of a girl now dead, I began to entertain a different dream. Adrenaline lit up my senses, making them detailed and fine. Now I pictured myself tracking down her killer, following him back to his lair. I saw myself knocking on his door, a snub-nosed revolver tucked under the waistband of my raggedy jeans. When he answered, I filled him with hot lead. I’d become an eleven-year-old vigilante.

“Jimmy?”

My dad, home from work, interrupted this macabre daydream.

“She’s dead,” I offered as a greeting.

“I know, I heard it on the radio,” he said. He came and sat next to me. He was bulky with muscle, a bushy beard shadowing his face, towering over me at five feet, eight inches. Most days, I didn’t see him until just before bedtime. He owned a fledgling construction business with his brother and often worked late pounding -two-by-fours or laying shingle after the crew had already gone home. That day, he was home very early.

I quickly noted the affable expression on his face. His eyes were open wide and he was forcing a smile. I knew better than to trust that mock casualness. Then, as now, when my father adopts a look of non-concern it can only mean there’s some trouble that he’s still riddling out a way to break to me.

At first, I interpreted this as concern for my emotional state. He must have noticed how closely I had followed the case since -October. But there was another reason he was home early, and what he said next linked me to Amy in a way that, as the coming years would reveal, not even her death could sever. Her death was about to become a part of me.

“I need you to know something,” my dad said. “I’ve been getting . . . some death threats.”

Inside a scrawny chest, my heart skipped a beat. “What? Somebody wants to kill you?”

My dad snapped off the television. Amy’s image shrank away to a speck of white in the center of the screen.

“No. Somebody wants to kill you

I didn’t know what to say. Was he joking? The fear in his eyes told me he definitely was not.

“Remember that guy I fired a couple months ago?”

“Yeah.”

My dad nodded his head.

“Why is he mad at me

“He’s not,” my dad said. “He’s mad at me. He’s really, really mad at me. And he’s crazy. That’s why I fired him. He’s not all there in the head. He left a note for me the other day. It said he was going to come after you. You or your sister.”

I thought of Joline, only four years old. I thought of Amy. I thought of two men I could hate.

“He’s all talk,” my dad continued. “He’s a coward, really. Okay? I don’t think he’s really going to try anything.”

Liar, I thought. I know you’re lying. Why else would you be telling me this?

He looked at me with a mixture of caution and shame. “Do you know what to do if you’re ever abducted?”

I hadn’t watched three months of reports on a kidnapping without learning a little. “Make a lot of noise,” I said. “I should scream for help and try to get away. I should kick him in the nuts?”

My dad laughed a little at that, which was good. It washed away some of the fear from his eyes. But he had reason to worry—especially as his business grew. There would be nights, years later, when we faced off against other enemies as they broke into our house. On those nights my dad carried a baseball bat. I carried a bowling pin. This was only the first day I realized such danger was possible. He wanted me to be prepared, as if he could sense the future.

“Good,” he said. “But what about if you find yourself back at their house and they tie you up or handcuff you to a couch?”

I tried to imagine such a thing.

“They said on the radio that they were going to do an autopsy on that girl, Amy,” my dad said. “I tried to think why they would want to do that after three months. I tried to think what kind of clues they were hoping to find. And then I thought if she was real smart they might find everything they needed.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

My dad paused, perhaps searching for a way to put into words the idea he’d been running through his mind on the way home. Finally, he looked me directly in the eyes. No sign of fear anymore, only cold resolve. “If you ever find yourself in that situation, here’s what I want you to do. I want you to put everything you can into your mouth. Pull out pieces of the carpet. Bits of the couch. Hairs you might find lying on the floor. Knickknacks that you can reach. Anything. I want you to swallow it all down. As much as you can. That way, if this happens—if what happened to Amy Mihaljevic happens to you—when they do the autopsy, we can find out who did it.” He leaned forward. I smelled a hint of Old Spice.

“And then I’ll know who I should kill.”
 

gardenmom

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Hi James. I am excited to see you posting here at websleuths. I used to live in OH at the time this happened. I remember her face well from the news. I am going to read your book over winter break. (Today is the last day of the semester!) I pray they find her killer. I recently told my mom I was going to read the book on Amy and she told me she saw you on the news and you said you knew who the killer is. Is there anything you can tell us? Is this someone the police have considered a suspect? I assume there is no evidence? Do you foresee an arrest?
 

2beautifulboys

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James, your writing went to my core...I do hope that Amy's killer is found....I was speechless yesterday when I read your post.....Please keep us updated on the case, somebody thinks they have gotten away with this...
 
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