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15 years later

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Jennifer Stockrahm
* Few new leads in Jennifer Stockrahm case

Joan Stockrahm never got to see the closure she so desperately searched for. She never saw justice served.

The longtime Clay County resident died May 12, 2011. But on Feb. 12, 1997, her life changed forever.

That was the day Joan learned her daughter, Jennifer, had been found dead in a vehicle approximately 100 yards away from her mother's home.

For more than a decade, Indiana State Police Detective Sergeant Troy Stanton has spearheaded the case.

But when he heard of Joan's passing, he could feel nothing but sadness.

Still, Stanton said he continues to investigate the cold case.

"The case is still active, but there's nothing new to report," he told The Brazil Times recently. "There's not a multitude of leads in the case. We welcome any leads."

It has been 15 years since the murder shocked Clay County residents. But despite receiving few new leads to the investigation, Stanton said he will not give up.

"I won't give up on anything," he said. "I hope to someday solve it. Sometimes, cold cases are bad, but at some point, people's lives change. Maybe someone will come forward that knows something about it.

"At the same time, we don't want to chase a bunch of rabbits. We want good, solid leads. But we follow every lead we get."

According to reports, Jennifer's death was reported during a Clay County Sheriff's Department investigation of a vehicle fire at 3:16 a.m., Feb. 12, 1997, in Harmony.

Upon arrival, law enforcement officials saw a vehicle parked at the side of the road next to Joan Stockrahm's residence.

In 2007, Joan told The Times she had received a phone call from her daughter at 11 p.m., only hours before the crime took place. In the phone call, Jennifer was heard saying, "I love you."

Later in the evening, she said she heard a popping noise.

"I never thought anything about it," Joan said.

Joan said she later received a call from a neighbor informing her of the fire outside.

Initial reports indicated Jennifer burned to death in the vehicle fire. However, an autopsy revealed the cause of death to be a gunshot wound to the chest.

Stanton said he hopes the case can find closure sooner than later, especially after hearing of Joan's death.

"I want to get closure for the family," he said. "That's our ultimate goal."

Anyone with information regarding the case is urged to contact Stanton at 1-800-225-8576 or 1-765-653-4114.

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I remember this case well. It's sad the mother was not given closure before her death. I hope someone comes forward with information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of whoever did this. RIP Jennifer and Joan.

-- Posted by Emmes on Tue, Feb 14, 2012, at 11:58 AM

Please help find her murderer.If she was killed near her home then it is probably someone she knew or someone trying to payback the family for something. Jennifer is my half sister my father is her father I want this person or persons caught. My father always kept guns in his house were any of them missing ? Did Joan ever put in any report of a home burglary ? I believe Dad was already passed when this crime occurred.

-- Posted by bellestarr on Sun, Jan 26, 2014, at 10:25 PM

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