Police pursue Loveland’s only active murder investigation, 42 years later


Cheryl Thompson (Photo: Provided/Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost)

Investigators are now using DNA technology to pursue evidence in a 42-year-old unsolved murder case, according to the Loveland Ohio Police Department.

Cheryl Thompson left her home on Wooster Pike near Indian Hill at approximately 10 p.m. the evening of March 24, 1978, according to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s website. She was reportedly heading to Gatsby’s, a disco, on Madison Road in Oakley.

Thompson was reported missing the next day at around 2 p.m. by her brother after family and friends were not able to find her. Officials said an Ohio Department of Natural Resources game protector discovered Thompson’s body on April 8, 1978, on the bank of the Little Miami River in the 260 block of East Kemper Road in Loveland.

The website states Thompson’s death was ruled a homicide by means of strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head.

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According to an Enquirer article published in April of 1979, Thompson was 19 and a University of Cincinnati student at the time of her death. When she was found in a secluded brushy area near the Little Miami River, she was “partially clad.”

“Her body was the second found in suburban Hamilton County in less than a month,” the article reads. “On March 12, hunters found the body of Charmaine Stolla, 17, near a shack off Old Colerain Pike, on the northern edge of Hamilton County.”

On Monday, the Loveland Ohio Police Department posted on Facebook stating the agency is still pursuing the homicide, 42 years later. 

“Loveland’s only active murder investigation has been passed to many different investigators but we have not forgotten our commitment to the Thompson family. Each investigator has contributed to our body of knowledge surrounding Cheryl’s death,” the post reads.

Loveland police and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation are now pursuing evidence using DNA technology, according to the post. This technology was not available in 1978.

Earlier this year investigators in Hamilton County were able to identify a serial rapist whose charges date back more than 20 years using the Y chromosome found in DNA and a genealogy website. William Brian Blankenship, 55, of Southgate, Kentucky, is accused of rape, burglary, kidnapping and gross sexual imposition.

Investigators were able to track down Blankenship through DNA contained in the 20-year-old rape kits. Using a genealogy company – examples of which are 23andMe and Ancestry.com – detectives found Blankenship’s family, and then were able to test  Blankenship directly.

Anyone with additional information or questions regarding Thompson’s unsolved homicide case is encouraged to submit a tip through the Attorney General’s website.

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