Thursday, August 23, 2012
On the 20th anniversary of Tammy Zywicki's slaying, FBI investigators still hope for a break
Tammy Zywicki would be 41 now, perhaps a mother, perhaps a photographer living out her dreams.
She never got that chance. Zywicki was sexually assaulted and slain 20 years ago Thursday after her Pontiac broke down on Interstate 80 near Utica, Ill., as she headed to college in Iowa. Nine days later, authorities found her body alongside a Missouri highway. Her killer has eluded investigators.
The FBI said Wednesday its investigation remains active. They're still looking for clues, hoping that someone might come forward despite the long years and faded memories.
On that August day, Zywicki stopped in Evanston to drop her brother off at Northwestern University. Then she got back on the highway for the final leg of a trip from her home in New Jersey to Grinnell College in central Iowa. She was a senior majoring in art history and Spanish.
Witnesses remembered seeing the 21-year-old blonde with a big smile and glasses on the side of the road with a trucker who had stopped to ostensibly help with her car troubles.
Law enforcement agencies established a task force, leads trickled in and, in an era before cellphones were common, her classmates in Iowa pledged to install emergency phones along every mile of federal highway.
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