At 11 a.m. Thursday, law enforcement officials revealed important new evidence in the 1989 kidnapping and murder of 10-year-old Amy Mihaljevic.
Bay Village Police Chief Mark Spaetzel, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty and now-retired FBI Agent Phil Torsney presented the evidence who is now working with McGinty's office.
McGinty said Torsney is the same FBI agent who helped track fugitive Whitey Bulger to California and ihas been working this case. McGinty calls him a "bloodhound."
McGinty announced that the FBI's original $25,000 reward available for information on this cold case crime has been matched by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's office and is now $50,000.
Spaetzel was a patrolman in 1989 and has continued working the Mihaljevic case since then. He said this has never been a cold case for us. It has never been on a shelf and not been worked...you name it we've done it
Spaetzel said two separate witnesses said they saw Amy with a white male who would be in his mid 50's or early 60s today.
Torsney believes evidence found at the scene where Amy's body was discovered came from place where she was murdered.
"We need help, we need to figure this out, and I think we can do it," Torsney said.
A handmade curtain and a blanket that were found 14 feet from her body had canine hairs on them that have been matched to Amy's dog Jake. Amy was not wrapped in either of them when she was found so investigators believe they came from the location where Amy was murdered.
Torsney says the curtain was handmade, not manufactured. The FBI wants to know what house, barn, car, etc. it came from and is appealing to the public to see if anyone recognizes where it came from. Torsney says it looks like it was made from a re-purposed bedspread or similar item.
The curtain would have been "avocado green" in color and may have faded from being outside so long. The curtain is 68 inches long, a quilted fabric and the top loops were sewn by hand.
There were other fibers found on the curtain and blanket but what they are is not being disclosed at this time. The blanket was found with the curtain.
Ashland County Sheriff Risner was also at the press conference. Amy's mother has passed away but her father, Mark, and her brother were at the news conference.
Mihaljevic disappeared from the Bay Square Shopping Plaza after school on Oct. 27, 1989.
Her body was found in Ruggles Township in rural Ashland County field in February 1990. She was wearing same clothes from when she disappeared.
The case has never been solved, but police and the FBI have never stopped investigating.