It’s been 25 years since a serial killer left St. Charles on edge by murdering a young woman working in a specialty store.
The serial killer was dubbed the “I-70 Killer” because his crime spree spanned three states, taking the lives of at least six people all working in stores along or near Interstate 70. Two-and-a-half decades later, police still have not publicly named a suspect and are again asking for the public’s help solving the case.
“We are hoping that we do get the individual because this is a murder in our town. Nancy deserves justice, as does her family. And I’d like to be able to tell her family this is what happened to their daughter,” said Det. Don Stepp, now the lead detective on the case.
One of the victims was Nancy Kitzmiller from St. Charles.
“She wasn’t supposed to be working that day. She said she would come in and work for another girl so it wasn’t even her assigned shift. It was going to be a quiet Sunday and she figured she’d help a friend out,” said Det. Stepp.
Around 2:30 on May 3, 1992, someone went into the boot store where Nancy was working, shot and killed her.
No one saw it happen or got a look at the suspect.
“At that time, we didn’t know how widespread this was. We thought it was just a random murder that had happened in St. Charles,” said Det. Stepp.
Eventually, police realized the case in St. Charles was eerily similar to other cases in the Midwest. Within a couple weeks of Nancy’s death, there were five other mysterious murders. Robin Fuldauer was killed in Indianapolis in April of 1992. Sarah Blessing was killed in Raytown, Missouri on May 7. Patricia Smith and Patricia Magers were killed in Wichita, Kansas on April 11. Michael McCown was killed in Terre Haute, Indiana on April 27, detectives believe the male victim was mistaken for a woman because of his slender figure and long hair. In all of the cases, the victim was working in a store along or near Interstate 70 and was seemingly randomly targeted.
Detectives said the victims did not know the victims at other scenes and have no reason to believe the suspect knew the victims either.
Between all the cases, there was only one witness. The witness to the crime in Wichita helped police come up with a composite of a potential suspect. Detectives believe the killer is a white man, with reddish-blonde hair, 5-foot-10 to 6-foot tall, and would now be in his 40s. They don’t know where he was from, what he did for a living, why he was traveling along Interstate 70, or even if he is still alive.
The one other key clue connecting the cases is the shell casings found at each scene. They are believed to have been shot from an Erma Werke or similar gun. It is a competition style rifle with a long barrel. Only 6,000 were imported to the U.S. from Germany so detectives are hoping someone would recognize it and remember if they knew someone who had a rare gun like that.
Over the years, detectives said they’ve looked into thousands of leads. They just haven’t found the right person, yet.
“I think it’s a case that can be solved. I think it’s a case that will be solved. We just need some help doing it,” said Det. Stepp.
Detectives in St. Charles are asking anyone with any information, no matter how small they may think the tip is, to call the St. Charles Police Department. They said if a tip leads to the conviction of the killer, there is still a cash reward available.
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