Cynthia “Cindy” Marie Johnson (16) from Garfield Heights, Independence, Ohio, left home around 7pm on Sunday Oct 30, 1977. She told a friend that she was going to meet a man. She was found murdered the next morning of Oct 31 around 830am.
Judging from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office’s information the exact time of death is not clear: she either died on the Sunday evening that she went missing or in the early morning hours of Monday 31.
She was found fully clothed that Monday by an employee of the Titan Fastener Engineering Co. Her body was on top of an industrial rubbish container outside the company’s warehouse on 7395 Riverview Road.
Cause of death: strangulation by ligature thus ruling out manual strangulation. There is hardly anything online about this case and I have many questions.
- Was anything found near or on her body that could have been used to strangle her? If so, can it be searched with the M-Vac for touch DNA?
- What type of marks did the ligature leave on her neck? Was there a distinct pattern? Were any of her own clothes used to strangle her such as a scarf or belt? Was there any other trauma on her body?
- Did the autopsy specify time of death? Did she have any undigested food in her stomach so we can try to pinpoint the time of death?
- Did Cynthia die where she was found? From Garfield Heights to the place where she was found takes about 14 min by car according to Google Maps. Walking would be around 2 hours. So how was she going to meet someone that night? Car, walk, bus, bike, hitchhike? Cynthia was 16 years old so technically she could have driven herself.
- Were Cynthia’s clothes properly put on e.g. is there a chance she was dressed (again) by someone else? Was she assaulted? Any DNA found? Are her clothes and fingernail scrapings preserved?
- It was the 1977 Halloween weekend so was Cynthia dressed normally or ready for a party? Any signs or indications that she was going to a party? Were there any parties around the Titan Fastener Engineering Co. area?
- What was her exact family situation? Cynthia used to live in Red Star, Fayette County, W. Va. Could she have met someone from back home?
- The authorities questioned twice the man Cynthia told a friend she was meeting when she left home. The man was identified by police as a friend of her step-father. According to the papers he had an alibi. How did Cynthia tell that friend about meeting someone? Was the friend at the house, on the phone, was it at school? Did she ever mention any trouble at school?
Cynthia’s mother and two sister are still alive. They hope to learn what happened. If you have any information please contact Detective Lieutenant Charles Wilson’s Office (216) 524-3033 or email him at [email protected] Cynthia’s case number is #2033.
Rest in peace Cynthia “Cindy” Marie Johnson.