In 2007, I originally wrote about the troubling and tragic death of 14-year-old Stephanie Isaacson in 1989. Out of my 22 years with Metro, ten of them were at the front desk of the Crime Lab, and this unsolved case remains one I cannot forget.
On June, 1, 1989, Stephanie Isaacson left her house at about 6:30 a.m. to walk to Eldorado High School. She cut through a vacant desert lot at Stewart Avenue and Linn Lane on her way, which was her usual route. Her shortcut was not a good idea that day.
When Stephanie didn't come home that afternoon, her father started looking for her and soon found out she had never arrived at school. A search turned up her body in that desert lot. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled.
Terrible crimes occur every day. I know this because I read the reports and saw the photographs of pretty much every homicide committed in Metro's jurisdiction between 1984 and 1994.
At the time Stephanie was killed, my nieces were close to her age and lived only a couple of miles away from where she was found. The tragic and senseless nature of this crime felt very close to home, because it was.
A young girl being violently murdered while walking to school is deeply disturbing. And in this case, that brutal crime went unsolved and unpunished.
I wrote to the Cold Case unit to ask if there were any updates to the case. I didn't expect to hear a surprising new development, but I had a sliver of hope that there would be something that had changed. A person of interest. Some new development that hadn't received much press.
Sadly, the reply from the cold case investigator was very short: “We've nothing to update... sorry.”
Periodically, I receive comments on the post from people who knew Stephanie, most recently on August 12, on what would have been her birthday. Stephanie's mother wrote:
Today we would be celebrating Stephanie's birthday if she were still with us. I am her Mother and I can tell you that "time does not heal all wounds." This tragedy will always be an open wound for her family and friends. I miss her every day. I wish the low life who stole her from us could be brought to justice. I still believe there is someone out there who knows who did this. I just wish they would have the decency to come forward and tell who committed this horrible crime, but I don't believe it will ever be solved. I love you Stephanie.
Did you live in Las Vegas in 1989 in the area of Stewart Avenue and Linn Lane? If you know anything about this case, it is not too late to speak up. You can contact the anonymous tipline at Metro or contact Metro's Cold Case Unit.
Note: In August 2016, Vegas Girl celebrated its 10th anniversary. This post is a part of three-part series revisiting some of Vegas Girl's most notable stories.
Photo by Terrisa Meeks