The Cindy Elias Case: 40 Years Later

March 15, 2017 06:26 PM

Cindy Joy Elias had just begun to live, when her life was cut short.

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The 19-year-old from Britt was last seen alive in the early morning hours of March 24, 1977. 

Her badly beaten body was found under a brush pile in Aurora.

Nearly 40 years later, her family waits for answers.

"I think we're really getting discouraged about it being solved," explained Judy Edwards, one of Cindy's sisters.

The family feels cheated about what could have been. Cindy was one of 7 siblings. The family has grown by leaps and bounds, without her. One of the newest members, one-year-old Atlas, was hanging out with the family at the Virginia courthouse on Wednesday.

Joyce Elias, another sister, said, "Everyone in the family knows what happened. But they didn't get the chance to know her."

They just want to know why Cindy was killed. They had been more hopeful when the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension had an active Cold Case Unit.

But investigators with the St. Louis County Sheriff's office have not given up. Lt. Nate Skelton said leads are still trickling in, but as time goes by, it becomes more difficult to find those answers.

"There are always miracles that happen. We look forward to having any bit of information that we could use, to put closure on this, and find who is responsible," Skelton said.

Many who've worked on the case have retired.

Joe Skofich from the sheriff's office told us, "Even though I've been retired for five years, I think of the case often. I wish the results were more positive."

Gordon Coldagelli, a former prosecutor who is also retired, said, "Working on the case was a challenge. We followed up every lead, even going so far as getting a court order to exhume Cindy's remains to do so. That had to be difficult for the family. But they never complained. I truly wish we could have gotten closure for the Elias family by bringing Cindy's killer to justice."

A killer who's been free for nearly 40 years. And soon, may not be confronted by Cindy's family.

"We were just talking, and this might be the last time we do this. Unless one of our kids decides to speak on the 50th anniversary, or something," Joyce said.

If you have information about Cindy, please call the sheriff's office at:  (218) 749-7152


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