Police release new information on 24-year-old cold case

Kristin M. O'Connell

On the night of August 14, 1985 Kristin O TMConnell left a party and went out for a late night walk. The 20-year-old from Minnesota was visiting a friend in the Finger Lakes town of Ovid and decided she wanted some fresh air. She never returned. Two days later her body was found.

"This shocked the community of Ovid, this shocked Seneca County and it should have shocked everybody in the United States, said Investigator Jeff Arnold from the New York State Police. This is not a common type of crime."

On Wednesday, police showed the full scope of the 24-year investigation, including a timeline of what witnesses had seen on the night Kristin died.

The timeline says that multiple witnesses reported seeing Kristin walking on County Route 139 near midnight on August 14. She was walking alone though witnesses say it appeared that two teenagers were following her.

"Our witness describes them as walking at a rapid pace, gaining ground on her, said Investigator Arnold.

The men were described as white, slightly under six feet tall and one had shoulder length brown hair. Both were said to be wearing jeans and one may have had on a jeans jacket. The witnesses also described a green or blue car pulling up to Kristin and possibly attempting to lure her inside.

Police also gave out copies of a cryptic phone call they received about a week after the murder. In the call a man says police should look behind a green Chevy on Main Street in Waterloo to find the killer. He also says they will find what you want if they open the trunk. Before hanging up, the caller says he told him not to do it.

Seneca County District Attorney said they TMre interested in learning more about that caller. "He has a very distinctive voice and slight accent. We're hopeful he's still alive, we're hopeful he's back in this area and we'd love to identify who this is, said Swinehart.

Investigators and police are also hoping the New York State Health Department will allow a Netherlands lab, considered among the finest DNA experts in the world, to test the evidence using new touch DNA technology.

"We believe Kristin put up a fight that night and it is our hope that there was some skin cells shed from the perpetrator or perpetrators that evening, says Investigator Arnold.

Senator Chuck Schumer and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar have said they are working to break through the red tape and expedite the DNA testing.

Kristen O TMConnell TMs mother lives in Burnsville, Minnesota. She continues to follow the case from there. Action News talked to her over the phone about her frustration with the New York State Health Department TMs prohibition of the testing by the DNA Laboratory in the Netherlands. Phyllis O TMConnell said, It should be about Kristen. It should be about my family, my daughter not their political game they're playing.

Despite her frustration with the 24-year-old investigation she sees breakthroughs in DNA technology as the key to eliminating suspects and narrowing in on the killer of her daughter. She said she is very hopeful. O TMConnell said, with all my heart I believe it will be resolved.