GRANT COUNTY, Ind. – Twenty-five years ago this week, an Indiana Wesleyan student vanished without a trace.
Police say freshman psychology major Tricia Reitler took a break from writing a term paper and walked to a store just half a mile from the university campus.
Unfortunately, the 19-year-old was never seen or heard from again.
The disappearance in March 1993 sparked a massive manhunt, but sadly, a quarter of a century later, Reitler’s body has never been found.
“This is 25 years coming up this week, but it hasn’t been forgotten,” said Marion Police Deputy Chief Stephen Dorsey.
Marion police say Reitler was last seen buying a soda at a Marsh supermarket. Her bloody clothes were later found in a nearby park and police think she got abducted walking back to her dorm.
Larry Hall confessed to Reitler’s kidnapping and murder, but later recanted. He even claimed he could lead investigators to her body near a Grant County reservoir, but that search also turned up empty and Hall was never charged in connection to the crime.
“We’ve had a number of suspects over the years, one being Larry Hall,” said Dorsey. “We just don’t have any evidence that puts Larry into the mix of Tricia being missing.”
Deputy Chief Dorsey has worked Reitler’s case from day one. He still hopes someone can come forward with information to close the case.
“I am one of the few that originally worked this investigation when it occurred, so it means a lot even if we can’t charge someone with Tricia’s disappearance, we certainly want to be able to turn her remains over back to her family,” said Dorsey.
Marion police say the case is still an open investigation. There is a $1,000 cash reward for information that results in an arrest.
If you know any information about Tricia’s disappearance, call Crime Stoppers at 765-662-TIPS (8477).