BAY VILLAGE -- The mysterious murder of ten-year-old Amy Mihaljevic almost 23 years ago still haunts the parents of Bay Village and beyond.
There has been a book, a feature film and now Crime Stoppers is dedicating a show to the unsolved case.
The Mihaljevic case has baffled investigators for nearly a quarter of a century. The killer may still walk among us here in Northeast Ohio.
The popular Crime Stoppers show, airing this weekend, will have never-before-seen photos, a recording of the victim's voice, and one very important peace of evidence that could finally steer this case in the right direction.
For Mark Mihaljevic, it's a memory and mystery that will never go away. First he lost his daughter, then his wife, Margaret.
"It was one of the factors that lead to the divorce between Margaret and myself. You're never the same. It's like somebody told me. It's like trying to describe a color on a film that no one has ever seen. You can't put yourself in that position," Mihaljevic said.
Crime Stoppers captures these emotional moments never before revealed. The program has some haunting photos. They are images of Amy as a baby, the family together in happier times, the bond between mother and daughter.
"She had suffered through this tragedy for many years and, unfortunately, she passed away without ever knowing who it was that abducted and killed her baby girl," detective on the case Mark Spaetzel said.
The girl with the sideways ponytail disappeared from the Bay Square Shopping center on Oct. 27, 1989 . She was led there by a phone call from a stranger who said he wanted to meet Amy to buy her mother a present. Amy's body was found 106 days later in a farm field in Ashland County.
Her killer took trophies, including Amy's riding boots, turquoise horse-head earrings, and a notebook with the clasp that read "Best in Class."
He left behind a tiny carpet fiber found on the victim's body. The photo, released publicly for the first time, with modern investigative techniques, it could lead to the killer's car make and model. Still, police need more.
"The only way this case is going to be solved is through the public input. Someone is going to have to call us and give us a name or some information that leads us down a road toward who the person that did this," Spaetzel said.
Crime Stoppers will air its Mihaljevic mystery episode Saturday night at 7 p.m. on WKYC.