November 15, 1982: It was more than just another fall day in Vacaville, Calif. It was the day Mary Borcher's best friend was murdered. It was the day that De Anna Lynn Johnson was taken from her beloved family -- at the age of 14 years old.
This wasn't supposed to happen. This type of crime didn't happen here. Besides, this shouldn't happen to kids like De Anna. She was pretty, popular and bubbly. Her goal in life was to become a counselor for troubled teens. But now, 30 years later none of her dreams have been realized and her killer has never been found.
It started when De Anna was given permission, along with an extended curfew of 9 p.m., to visit a friend just seven houses down from her home on Royal Oaks Drive in Vacaville, Calif. Later, her mom was told that a party took place at that home. The party drew dozens of teens. No adults were around and as the night wore on, older teens -- along with drugs and alcohol -- showed up at the party. Tempers flared and fights broke out. That was the last time De Anna was seen alive.
De Anna was reported missing at 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 15, 1982, after her mother, father and brothers made many frantic phone calls and went door to door to ask if any of her friends and neighbors had seen her or knew where she was. The search was unsuccessful and the missing persons report was filed with the Vacaville Police Department.
The next day, two Southern Pacific Railroad employees who were working in the area found De Anna's battered body in a desolate field on Elmira Road not far from the train tracks. The field where her body was found could be seen easily from her family's home. De Anna's fully clothed body had been strangled, beaten, and bludgeoned about the head and face. The crime scene was horrific; the killer, heartless.
No one has ever been brought to justice for De Anna's brutal killing. But, someone knows something. And it's time for that someone to come forward. We can't allow De Anna to simply become another "cold case" statistic. It's been long enough that someone who knows something must have a conscience.
Watch here for a live interview with Mary Borchers about the murder of her friend and her continuing search for justice. We'll also have the latest on the Dr. Martin McNeill trial from WildAboutTrial.com at Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013 at 9 p.m. Eastern.
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