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NY police ask for public’s help to solve 1985 killing of MN student

Police in New York are renewing their call for information on a 31-year-old cold case involving the killing of a Minnesota woman.

The case has been referred to by the Finger Lakes Times as “one of the more notorious murder cases” in the region’s history. Despite officials investigating nearly 2,000 leads, no one has been arrested in connection to Kristin O’Connell’s death, a New York State Police news release says.

O’Connell, a 20-year-old college student from Burnsville, Minnesota, was visiting a friend in Ovid, New York, located near the Finger Lakes, on Aug. 14, 1985.

Around 11 p.m. that night, she left a gathering at her friend’s home to go for a walk, but never returned.

She was reported missing the next morning.

Witnesses told police they saw O’Connell walking along County Route 139 around 11:30 p.m., with several people noting she had talked to someone in a stopped vehicle. Then later, people reported seeing her walking in the direction of a trailer – two males were following about 30 feet behind her.

A search party discovered O’Connell’s body on Aug. 16, 1985, in a corn field in Ovid, not far from where she was last seen. Police say she had been stabbed, with newspaper archives showing she was stabbed repeatedly and her throat had been slit, Syracuse.com reports.

Police haven’t identified the vehicle nor the two males who were seen following her, the release says.

“Its frustrating there has not been an arrest by now, but it’s not for lack of trying,” Phyllis O’Connell, Kristin O’Connell’s mother, said last year, according to the Finger Lakes Times. “The police have been on it and working it hard.”

Phyllis O’Connell started a GoFundMe Page in February in an effort to raise $25,000 to fund a monetary reward in hopes of getting someone to reveal information about her daughter’s death.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact New York State Police Troop E at 585-398-4100. All calls are anonymous.

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