MEDIA, Pa. (CBS) — Tonight, on CBS3 Mysteries, we delve into a cold case that is still too painful for Tyra Waiters’ family to talk about. The 19-year-old who dreamed of becoming a nurse went out on Christmas night in 1989 and never returned. Her body was found six days later. Thirty-two years later, police are still trying to catch her killer.
New Year’s Eve, 1989.READ MORE: Philadelphia Weather: Stormy Evening Brings In Seasonal Temperatures For Early Next Week
“The temperature was around 32 degrees,” Tom Giancristoforo, a detective with the Aston Township Police Department, said.
The body of Tyra Waiters was discovered in a shallow snowy ravine in an Aston industrial park.
“Nothing really has changed,” Giancristoforo said.
The 19-year-old had been missing for six days, leaving her Olney home on Christmas night without a trace.
“There was an individual that was walking through the woods, looking for a hunting spot, and he came across Tyra,” Giancristoforo said.
CBS3 Mysteries was invited inside the war room of the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office as investigators plotted their next step in the 32-year-old cold case.
“I got a picture of Tyra right here,” Detective Sgt. Michael Ruggieri said. “We’ve never forgotten about her.”
Case files and documents reviewed by CBS3 Mysteries show police zeroing in on one man.
“She was going through a break-up with her boyfriend, and he’s always remained a person of interest in this case,” Ruggieri said.
Waiters’ mother and sister said it would be too difficult to talk about the case. It brings back a lot of bad memories.READ MORE: Ocean County Man Charged After Supplying Heroin, Fentanyl To Man Who Overdosed, Police Say
Waiters, we’ve learned, was a full-time worker at Bryn Mawr Hospital while also going to school to fulfill one of her dreams of becoming a nurse.
She was stabbed numerous times. Her partially clothed body provided investigators only limited clues, but one person who could provide police information has remained uncooperative.
We are withholding his identity at the request of the police.
“As far as we’re concerned, he never removed that cloud of suspicion,” Ruggieri said. “The Waiters family deserves to have closure in this matter. They deserve to have her killer brought to justice.”
Police plan to resubmit evidence for a fresh DNA analysis.
There are witness statements in the original case files. Ruggieri believes somebody saw something that was uncomfortable enough — that it’s stuck with them.
“Did they witness any physical assault taking place? Did they see somebody being led away against their will?” Ruggieri said.
Detectives and prosecutors recently began reviving some of the county’s coldest cases.
“There are plenty of police officers in Delaware County who have a pit in their stomach of some job that didn’t come through,” Delaware County Criminal Investigations Division Chief James Nolan said. “We are working as hard as we can to bring those back to life.”
Like the case of Tyra Waiters, a 19-year-old with her entire life ahead of her, a promising future cut short by a violent killer.
“These people are real to you, their families are real to you and all you want to do is bring them some level of solace,” Nolan said.MORE NEWS: Man Stabbed Multiple Times In North Philadelphia: Police
If you have any information, please call Aston Township Police at 610-497-2633 or the Delaware County CID at 610-891-4700.