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New attention to teen’s murder 40 years later: ‘I am not gonna stop fighting for her’

GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio -- For nearly four decades, a family has been praying for justice, hoping to find out who murdered a 16-year-old girl. The teen's loved ones hope new attention to the case will help bring them some closure.

"I am not gonna stop fighting for her," said Marilyn Johnson.

She has been searching for justice ever since her sister, Cindy Johnson, was found murdered in 1977.

"People are starting to talk right now and I'm hoping by putting this out, there will be somebody out there that has a heart and just wants to let our family have some type of closure," she said.

According to the Ohio Attorney General's website, Cynthia left her home in Garfield Heights around 7:00 p.m. on October 30, 1977.

Her body was found in a dumpster at an Independence business around 8:30 the next morning. Investigators say she had been strangled with some type of ligature.

Her sister, Marilyn, says Cindy had been to a day concert at Edgewater Park.

"With other people she went down to the free concert, met up with other friends from Garfield, she left, she went home, she went back out; my mother said that she heard her come home," Johnson said.

That's the last time her family remembers seeing her.

"Obviously she snuck out, which is really weird for my sister; I just can't understand that part, but she snuck out and then they found her in a dumpster," said Johnson.

Marilyn says a few years ago, she asked Independence police to re-open the case after people who knew Cindy began contacting her. The police have re-opened the investigation, but so far, they are no closer to finding Cindy's killer.

"Somebody had contacted me on Facebook and they said they couldn't get it off of their mind. They said they had to tell me, people that was with her that night wanted to let me know what they knew about what was going on," she said.

Marilyn describes her sister as a kind, free spirit, who loved kids. She hopes even after 40 years, her family can get answers.

"Please, if you know something, please have a kind heart and let us know," Johnson said.

The family has created a Facebook page, 'Justice for Cindy Johnson.'

Anyone with information about the case should call Independence police; you can also click here to head to the 'Justice for Cindy Johnson' Facebook page.