Hope renewed for solving cold-case murder of 19-year-old UC student

Brother of Cheryl Thompson, cold-case murder victim, speaks for first time
Updated: Oct. 7, 2020 at 9:15 PM EDT
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WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - Bill Thompson has been waiting 42 years to find out what happened the night in 1978 when his sister, Cheryl Thompson, died.

Now decades after her death, there’s some hope he finally might.

Cheryl was 19 years old and a student at the University of Cincinnati when she was killed. Bill tells FOX19 NOW she wanted to be a nurse. He says they were close.

“Cheryl was very caring,” he said Wednesday. “You always knew she was going to be the one that would grow up in a job of helping other people. It’s just the way she was.”

Bill continued: “She would probably be about 62 years old now. She would probably be a grandmother, and she missed all of that.”

Loveland Police Department Det. Steve Moster is the lead investigator on the case, one of just two cold cases on file in Loveland.

Moster says Cheryl’s other brother, Dan, was the last person to see her alive on March 24, 1978.

“They hung out together,” Moster said. “They had dinner together. They both had TV dinners that were popular back in the ’70′s.”

Moster explains Cheryl told Dan she was going to Gatsby’s Disco, a club in Oakley. Her car was later found near the club, but the detective says there’s no indication she ever made it inside.

Cheryl was reported missing the next day by family and friends.

“I still remember my mom’s face when she got aboard the airplane to come back to Austin,” Bill said, adding he found out his sister was missing the day he graduated from police academy in Austin, Texas.

Bill says it was a long two weeks from that moment until April 8 when Cheryl’s body was found on the banks of the Little Miami River on East Kemper Road in Loveland.

The autopsy report says she died of strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head, Moster says.

Bill remains bemused someone would want to hurt his sister.

“She cared about everything — animals, people, she was everyone’s best friend,” he said.

Moster says detectives had a difficult time finding a suspect at the time, but authorities are pursuing new evidence using a “limited” DNA profile.

“Now we have hope again that this, maybe this crime will be settled,” Bill said.

If you know something about Cheryl’s death, you’re urged to contact the Loveland Police Department at 513.583.3000 or the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

“Every lead is important,” Moster said.

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