Unknown Jennifer Persia Killer- New Jersey- 1994 Sept 23, 2019 1:54:48 GMT -5
Post by Scumhunter on Sept 23, 2019 1:54:48 GMT -5
(Above photo credit: projectcoldcase.org)
From the Courier Post (courierpost.com): (2014 article)
Decades later, the slaying of her teenage sister still doesn't feel real for Carol Persia-Ross.
"It feels likes a story that I've just been talking about year after year," the 40-year-old mused.
"Then it hits me — that it's my life; it's my sister."
Sixteen-year-old Jennifer Persia was found stabbed to death at the foot of the staircase in the family's Magnolia home April 4, 1994.
The slaying shocked the tiny borough and Sterling High School, where the sophomore was on the track team and played saxophone in the band.
"Twenty years later, I still can't believe this happened to our family," Persia-Ross said.
The case remains unsolved.
It's a reality that frustrates Jennifer's older sister — especially after a former family friend she believes was involved in the killing died last year.
Scott David Ross (no relation) died of a drug overdose last April 28. The Westville resident had been like a son to Jennifer's stepfather, Mickey MacNeir. He hung out with MacNeir's sons and worked in his auto shop.
Ross was a "person of interest" in the case, according to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office, and additional information about him surfaced not long before he died at 46.
"We were planning on going to reinterview him just before we found out he was deceased," said Sgt. Patricia Taulane of the prosecutor's office.
"He was definitely someone who was looked at very, very hard."
Taulane, a homicide detective who inherited the case several years ago, acknowledged investigators believe more than one person was involved in Persia's slaying. She declined to speculate on a specific number of accomplices.
Police had eyed other persons over the years as well. A few days after Persia's killing, authorities interviewed a 40-year-old Philadelphia man, but he was cleared.
In 1998, the family believed a suspect named in the case would lead to an arrest. That man — a next-door neighbor — was not charged.
Jennifer didn't die withouta fight. According to reports, she struggled with her attackers and may have struck one with a glass mug.
Since there was no sign of forced entry, authorities believe she may have known her killers. Four large plastic containers filled with Susan B. Anthony dollars and $2 and $5 certificates were missing.
"Anyone who knew them even remotely knew that they had money in the house," Persia-Ross said of her family.
The girls' mother, Georgia MacNeir, had been a bartender at Cheerleaders in Gloucester City and their stepfather often brought home cash from his auto shop. In April 2007, Georgia MacNeir told the Courier-Post abouther final conversation with her daughter.
Jennifer had a track practice earlier in the day and the two touched base around 4 p.m., after the teen returned home. MacNeir told her daughter she was going to cook spaghetti for dinner, and asked Jennifer to have the water boiling by the time she got home.
"The last thing Jennifer and I said to each other was, 'I love you,' " Georgia MacNeir told the newspaper.
The teen was last seen alive between 6 and 6:30 p.m., sitting on her front steps. About two hours later, Jennifer's mother and stepfather returned home to find she had been stabbed more than 20 times.
The family stayed in the Jefferson Avenue home a few years, but the memories were too much.
"Every time I walked in, I pictured her laying there," Georgia MacNeir once said.
The MacNeirs left Jennifer's bedroom intact until they sold the house a few years later and moved to Lawnside.
Mickey and Georgia MacNeir died in 2007 and 2009, respectively. Just before the latter's death, Persia-Ross recalls her mother getting a call from a detective about an imminent arrest.
But that never came. It's something Jennifer's father, Mark Persia, has learned to live with over the years.
"I already know that I'll probably die not knowing," the 60-year-old said.
While Mark Persia has his suspicions about Ross and others, he points out that "there's not 100 percent proof that any of these people did it."
Ross' brother, Michael Forbes, maintained in a published report last year Ross was innocent. He could not be reached for comment.
Last April, Persia-Ross and others gathered outside Ross' funeral and turned away from passing mourners to show Jennifer's name on the back of their shirts.
It was the same funeral home where services were held for Jennifer and her mother.
"This case has gone on longer than she had lived," Mark Persia said of his daughter.
Persia and his eldest daughter, Joanne Persia Little, now work to keep Jennifer's name alive thorough a scholarship fund atSterling. More than $20,000 has been awarded since the Jennifer Persia Memorial Scholarship began in 1996, the year its namesake would have graduated.
About four years ago, funds began to dwindle, so Persia and his daughter stepped in to help. This year, they planto give out $2,000 "from the heart" to a student.
"Do I shed a tear (at the award events)?" Persia related. "Yeah, but they're happy tears."
Father and daughter also plan to attend a Magnolia Public School ceremony where another award is given in Jennifer's name.
"They're never going to solve it. Never," Persia said.
"The only thing that Joanne and I get peace out of is handing a deserving child something in my daughter's name and that makes us feel great."
Taulane hasn't given up hope someone will come forward with new information. She continues to work on the case with Magnolia Police Sgt. Joe Vadurro, who was two years older than Jennifer and went to school with her.
"He has never let this go," Taulane noted of Vadurro.
Over the years, detectives have visited numerous states while investigating the case.
"They did a lot of DNA testing on individuals all over," Taulane said. "It wasn't just central to New Jersey."
Persia-Ross plans to present a Change.org petition to the prosecutor's office in June, calling on authorities to bring those responsible for her sister's death to justice. The effort already has received more than 1,000 signatures online.
"I will never give up," Persia-Ross insisted.
"When I die, my kids will do it for me."
Thoughts? I want to stress the above article is from 2014- five years ago at the moment- sonsome details may be outdated by now. However- as of this posting date (September 23rd, 2019), Jennifer's case is sadly still listed as an unsolved homicide on the Project: Cold Case database: database.projectcoldcase.org/?name=Persia&gender=female&race=&age=&city=&state=New+Jersey&zip=&county=&weapon=&offense=&status=&year=&reported_min=&reported_max=&more=
As us AMW fans know, it took 27 years to name the deceased serial killer Ottis Toole as the killer of Adam Walsh. So whether a killer is named posthumously or arrested, I do hope we can one day see official answers given to Jennifer's family.
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