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Letters From the Dead

CINCINNATI (Deb Dixon) -- Something written in a letter to a friend has homicide detectives taking another look  at the murder of a local woman nearly 18 years ago.

Shirley Vaughn's daughter was just eleven when a killer took her mother's life.  Recently she took the message her mother wrote to a cold case detective. 

Shirley Baughn was a divorced single mom when she wrote a letter to a friend.  It read, "I'm pretty much a loner anymore."  The letter was recently given to Shirley's daughter.  Christy is still haunted by what did and did not happen that cold January morning when her mother left to catch the bus to work.

"I would always watch her get on the bus. That morning we argued.  I didn't want to go to school.  I was mad at her, I yelled at her.  I didn't watch her get on the bus.  The only morning didn't watch her," Christy said.

Detectives don't think Shirley got on the bus near her Glenmore Avenue home.  A passenger remembers hearing a man offer a ride.  When Shirley didn't show up to work, her boss reported her missing.

"She went to work everyday that's all she did.  Go to work, come home and take care of us," Christy said.

Family and friends searched for weeks.  Then in March a maintenance worker found Shirley's body washed up along the mill creek.  She'd been strangled.  Shirley was in the water for so long.  Certain clues that might have been on her body, hairs, fibers or DNA left behind by the killer was all washed away.  Detectives kept questioning Shirley's ex.  But the letter Christy brought to Cincinnati Homicide mentions a man she went out with.  Could the man in the letter be the same one Detective Horn found in the cold case file?

Patrons said the two argued about their relationship.  This same man flunked a polygrpah test.

"It was believed he withheld information about your mom.  He's someone interested in.  Cannot give you his name.  But we're going to try to locate him and question him again," said Horn.

Question him after nearly 18 years because Christy shared a letter from her mom.  A letter from the grave.

If you might have a piece of information that could help Detective Horn, you can call the Criminal Investigation Section at 352-3042 or Crime Stoppers at 352-3040.  Tipsters to Crime Stoppers are identified by code numbers.


Follow Deborah Dixon on Twitter @crimestopperdeb and LIKE her on Facebook

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