CLEVELAND, Ohio - The disappearance of a young college student 25 years ago this week continues to trouble investigators and torment her family.
Nineteen year old Tricia Reitler, from Olmsted Falls was a Psychology major at Indiana Wesleyan University the night of March 29, 1993.
Sometime around 8:15 pm she took a break from school work and walked to a nearby grocery store in Marion, where she purchased to a root beer and magazine.
That was the last time anyone saw Tricia alive.
Her bloody clothing was found in a park located about a quarter of mile between the store and campus.
“It’s just unbelievable, I mean you walk around kind of like you’re in a daze,” said Donna Reitler, Tricia’s mother.
For twenty-five years, Tricia’s parents have desperately searched for their daughter.
Along with investigators, they’ve personally followed up on every call and tip.
“Somebody says they say her or they found something,” said Garry. “It’s a struggle but as a father you have to go out and look, you have to exhaust all of those leads.”
Police think Tricia was abducted and found signs of a struggle as well as the clothing.
Over the years, they’ve investigated several suspects said Stephen Dorsey, with the Marion Police Department, “We`ve had a number of suspects over the years, one being Larry Hall, however we don`t have any evidence that puts Larry into the mix of Tricia being missing.”
But police and Tricia’s parents aren’t giving up hope.
Although the Reitler’s no longer believe Tricia is alive, they do think someone out there knows where her remains are located and they’re pleading with them to please come forward.
“That’s my prayer that someone will tell us,” said Donna. “We need that closure as a family.”
This week the university installed a permanent memorial for Tricia on campus.
It includes a park bench engraved with one of Tricia’s favorite Biblical quotes that reads, “May grace and peace be yours, sent to you from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Seeing the memorial brought Donna and Garry a feeling of peace, but they say they won’t truly begin to heal until they can properly bury their daughter back at home.
“Twenty five years is a long time,” said Garry. “I guess what I would say is if you know something come forward, why are you holding back, if you have information this would mean the world to our family.”
Marion police say the case is still an open investigation. There is a $1,000 cash reward for information leading to an arrest.
Anyone with information about Tricia’s disappearance, can call Crime Stoppers at 765-662-TIPS (8477).