New clues could lead to developments in 1977 unsolved murder case

Possible new lead in unsolved murder

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - An almost 41-year-old Butler County cold case could be warming up. Detectives are taking a fresh look at the unsolved murder of an 18-year-old University of Cincinnati student.

Nancy Theobald, an honors University of Cincinnati student, vanished on November 16, 1977. Her family said that she left her job at Arby’s, then on Calhoun in Clifton, and headed towards her apartment on Deckebach Avenue. She never made it home.

“She left around 9:53 pm that night, and that’s when she clocked out and that’s when she was last seen," said Joseph Theobald, Nancy’s brother.

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The pain of not knowing what happened took a toll on Theobald’s family, yet nothing could prepare them for the news they got later that year. A farmer, per authorities, discovered Theobald’s body in a creek along Beckett Road in West Chester.

“I would say a sexual assault had probably occurred based on what I’ve read and that she died of strangulation," said Joseph.

Her brother, now an investigator in Florida, said he can still remember it like yesterday.

“There was no doubt she was going to be the most successful of all of us,” he said. “We grieved. We buried our sister, and we’ve moved on with life the best we can.”

Her death made headlines and caught the attention of the community. Detectives worked the case through and through and came up, her brother said, with a list of possible suspects. Almost 41-years-later, there have not been any arrests, but Joseph Theobald said a possible new lead could bring new life to the case.

“We are told that there is some DNA that was recovered," he said. "I don’t know if it will yield any results, but I’m hopeful.”

Even if the testing does not turn into something, the victim’s brother said he and the rest of his relatives will never stop searching, hoping and waiting for the day that the case will be closed.

Several other women were also murdered around the same time as Theobald, but the cases have not been linked by officials. If you have any information about Nancy Theobald’s death or disappearance, contact the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

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