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Illinois State Police, FBI seek public’s help in solving murder

Twenty-fifth anniversary of Zywicki’s death ushers retesting of DNA evidence

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JOLIET — Illinois State Police (ISP) officials and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are seeking the public’s assistance for information regarding the kidnapping and murder of Tammy J. Zywicki. Aug. 23 marked the 25th anniversary of Zywicki’s death, and her case remains active as the FBI and ISP continue exploring new leads, examining 200 items of evidence, and retesting items with modern DNA technology.

Some of Zywicki’s personal property is known to be missing, including a Canon 35mm camera and a Lorus brand musical wrist watch which played the tune “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head,” with a green umbrella on its face and a green band. Also taken from Zywicki was a red and white soccer patch monogrammed with “St. Giles Soccer Club, Greenville, South Carolina.”

Zywicki was reportedly last seen with her car on Interstate 80 at Mile Marker 83 in LaSalle County between 3:10 and 4 p.m. on Aug. 23, 1992. She departed Evanston for college in Grinnell, Iowa, where she was expected to arrive that evening. Later that day, Zywicki’s car, a 1985 White Pontiac T1000, was found by an ISP trooper and marked as being abandoned. On Aug. 24, 1992, the vehicle was towed by the ISP. On that same evening, Zywicki’s mother contacted the ISP and advised that her daughter had not arrived at college.

On Sept. 1, 1992, Zywicki’s body was located along Interstate 44 in rural Lawrence County, Mo., which is located between Joplin and Springfield, Mo. She had been stabbed to death. It was also reported that a truck tractor semi-trailer was seen near Zywicki’s vehicle during this time period. The truck driver was described as a white male between 35 and 40 years of age, over 6 feet tall, with dark, bushy hair.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the identification of the individual or individuals responsible for this crime.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the ISP at 815-726-6377 or the FBI Chicago Field Division at 312-421-6700. Callers can remain anonymous.