Unsolved disappearance of Indiana Wesleyan student still haunts family 26 years later

GRANT COUNTY, Ind. – Indiana Wesleyan student Tricia Reitler vanished without a trace 26 years ago Friday. Her family believes she’s dead, but they’re holding on to hope her body is found.

Police say the freshman psychology major took a break from writing a term paper and walked to a store just half a mile from the university campus in March of 1993.

The 19-year-old’s disappearance sparked a massive manhunt and no one has ever been arrested in the case.

Marion Police Deputy Chief Stephen Dorsey says detectives are in the process of reviewing new DNA samples in the case.

Dorsey says he would like to put Tricia’s abductor in prison for life, but also wants to locate Tricia and get her back to her family where she belongs.

It’s something her mom and dad want too.

“Still this whole thing of going over and over different scenarios that could’ve happened or maybe we didn’t think of this or maybe we should’ve gone here or this or that; like I said that does not stop. To be able to bring her home and to put her to rest; it’s not going to change the outcome Tricia is still going to be gone, but I think for our family we will be able to move on to a certain degree,” Tricia’s mother Donna Reitler said.

Police have had a few suspects in the case, but haven’t had enough evidence to charge anyone.

If you have any information about Tricia’s disappearance, call Crime Stoppers at 765-662-TIPS.

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