The household of a 20-year-old Minnesota woman killed in 1985 throughout a visit to upstate New York is begging legislation enforcement to advance the practically 4 decade outdated cold case.

Phyllis O’Connell, mom of deceased Kristin O’Connell, needs officers to analyze greater than 300 items of proof utilizing contact DNA know-how with help from a manufacturing firm, however police have denied their requests to supply exterior assist in the continued investigation.

“I promised my daughter I’d never rest until that person was arrested who murdered her,” Phyllis O’Connell advised Fox News Digital. “That’s been my challenge for 35 years to try to find out who did this. I’m never going to give up ‘til I die. I want to know who did it — why they did it. I mean, my God. She wouldn’t have hurt a fly.”

Kristin O'Connell 

Kristin O’Connell 
(Credit: Jolynn Rice)

O’Connell described her daughter as sort, outgoing and charitable. She recalled a time when Kristin volunteered to babysit the kids of girls staying at a shelter for home abuse victims whereas she was in highschool. O’Connell shared her considerations however finally allowed her daughter to tackle the job after Kristin insisted.

When Kristin was a university scholar in August of 1985, she traveled from Minnesota to a city close to the Finger Lakes in New York referred to as Ovid to meet up with a person she met on Captiva Island off the coast of Florida over spring break that very same yr.

Two days after arriving in Ovid on Aug. 15, Kristin referred to as her mom to inform her she wished to come dwelling. 


“She said, ‘Mom … I decided to leave. I’m going to come home,'” O’Connell stated of the telephone name. O’Connell added that her daughter was going to cease and go to some mates in Boston earlier than heading dwelling and advised her every little thing was “alright.”

Kristin O'Connell 

Kristin O’Connell 
(Credit: Jolynn Rice)

Thirteen hours after their telephone name, the younger man Kristin had gone to meet — Jim Vermeersch — reported her lacking to native legislation enforcement.

Vermeersch apparently alleged that the 20-year-old had left his trailer between 11 p.m. on Aug. 15 and 12 a.m. on Aug. 16 to take a stroll by herself with out sneakers or a handbag in the unfamiliar city, in accordance to O’Connell. Vermeersch and a few others have been smoking marijuana in his trailer, which can have made Kristin uncomfortable, her mom stated.


Police found Kristin’s bare physique in a cornfield and her bloodied clothes close by on Aug. 16, 1985. No arrests have been made in reference to the case, although witnesses say they heard a scream the evening of Aug. 15 and didn’t report it to authorities. Witnesses have additionally stated they noticed Kristin speaking to two unidentified males on the aspect of the street that night.

The native coroner decided she had been stabbed and overwhelmed however discovered no indicators of sexual assault and no alcohol in her system on the time of her demise.

Kristin O'Connell memorial in Ovid 

Kristin O’Connell memorial in Ovid 
(Credit: Jolynn Rice)

 New York State Troop E Public Information Officer Mark O’Donnell stated that the case is “active and ongoing.” Police are doing every little thing in their energy to deliver justice to Kristin’s household and shut the open cold case, he stated.


Now, practically 4 a long time after Kristin’s murder, producer Christopher Pavlick is making an investigative documentary sequence primarily based on the case. The manufacturing firm Pavlick works for, The Hammer Group, says it has a forensics lab that’s licensed to analyze proof by the NYS Department of Health. Evidence contains hair and Kristin’s blood-stained clothes.

Pavlick has supplied to analyze proof in O’Connell’s case free of cost, however the NYS Police declined his provide.

Kristin O'Connell's blood-stained clothing 

Kristin O’Connell’s blood-stained clothes 
(Credit: Jolynn Rice)

Pavlick added that NYS Police agreed to check sure proof at their Oneida County lab however at the moment are “having trouble trying to figure out where to go” to analyze that proof, which is what The Hammer Group is providing to do by itself dime.

“They did the testing in that lab, but now they can’t figure out what lab is going to do the analysis,” Pavlick stated. “So … there’s all sorts of conversations and stuff trying to figure out where to send it because it’s kind of a two-part process.”

Pavlick and O’Connell are calling on the police division to both enable Pavlick’s lab to analyze proof or shut the case to allow them to submit Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to get solutions in regards to the case.

O’Connell has additionally labored with personal investigators and different consultants who supplied assist after listening to about her daughter’s case. She named Noel Hotchkiss, a former highschool principal, and Preston Felton, ex-superintendent of the New York State Police-turned personal investigator, for providing their help in monitoring down Kristin’s killer free of cost.

O’Connell can also be calling on New York lawmakers to introduce laws requiring police departments to have items devoted to fixing cold instances somewhat than handing them from one detective to one other all through the years.