How chilling ‘Girl in the Woods’ cold case may finally be solved as second BULLET found in body & sister reveals clues

How chilling ‘Girl in the Woods’ cold case may finally be solved as second BULLET found in body & sister reveals clues

SIX decades after a teenager was found dead in the woods, cops are finally closer to identifying her killer.

Nancy Eagleson was just 14 when she was snatched by a stranger as she walked home with her five-year-old sister, Sheryl.

OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE Nancy Eagleson was abducted by a stranger in November 1960[/caption]

With the help of her sister a forensic artist was able to create a sketch of the suspectOHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE

SuppliedNancy Lee Eagleson was the firstborn daughter of Don and Bettie Eagleson[/caption]

The two sisters had left the local cinema and were just minutes away from their family home in Paulding, Ohio, when the attacker grabbed Nancy.

Her body was discovered hours later in a rural area of the city – she had been sexually assaulted and shot twice.

But one bullet was only ever found.

The teenager’s death had remained a mystery until a cold case expert team managed to shed light on the case, sparking hopes it will finally be solved 60 years later.

Physical evidence had been missing from the original investigation for years, leaving detectives with few clues to solve the case.

The family’s only hope was to find some DNA evidence by exhuming Nancy’s body – something that was possible thanks to a non-profit called The Porchlight Project that helps solve cold cases.

The autopsy decades later revealed a bullet was still inside Nancy’s body.

And despite Sheryl only being five at the time, she recently managed to draw up a sketch of the suspect.

Nic Edwards, a member of The Porchlight Project and host of True Crime Garage, recalled how the team was approached by Nancy’s two sisters, her only surviving family.

He told The Sun: “We started talking to the sisters and they said they wanted to exhume the body hoping they could pull DNA.

“We talked to a pathologist who basically told us it wouldn’t be impossible but it’s near impossible to find DNA after 60 years.

“This was going to be a very expensive undertaking and we had to decide whether we’d take it or not. 

“The only thing we had was the case file – none of the physical evidence was there, her clothing, a branch that was recovered at the scene.”

It was Sunday, November 13, 1960, when Nancy was snatched.

Nancy and her sister had stopped at a restaurant in Paulding to buy some soft drinks and continued their way on a stretch of Route 111.

It was just after 7pm when they realised they were approached by a car as the driver asked them if they needed a ride.

“No, thank you, we’re almost there,” Nancy replied politely before the man violently grabbed her and threw her at the back of the car.

Little Sheryl jumped at the back of the man trying to stop him but he pushed her to the ground and sped off with Nancy in his backseat.

Sheryl ran to the neighbours for help who alerted authorities sparking a frantic search for Nancy.

The teen’s body was found five hours later in a wooded area about eight miles from where she was abducted by raccoon hunters.

She had been sexually assaulted and then shot in the chin with a small-calibre weapon.

Despite law enforcement’s efforts, the culprit was never caught.

Nancy’s two sisters Merrill and Sheryl remained desperate for answers all these years and have not given up on finding what happened.

Merill – who set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the exhumation – said: “Our family has been devastated by the loss of Nancy.

“My father and mother passed away never knowing who killed their daughter.

“The case is still unsolved 61 years later.”

After the Porchlight Project decided to take the case, Nic spoke to Paulding County Sheriff Jason Landers.

“I called him and said I wanted to speak to him about the Nancy Eggleston case,” he said.

“His first words were: ‘Do you mean the most heartbreaking murder that happened in my county’s history?’

“We worked together and reviewed the case and thought they were going to find a bullet if they dug up the body.

“Finding a bullet would be a big step forward in a case that has lost all the physical evidence.

“We finally got the right to exhume her and open up the casket.

“Soon enough during the autopsy, a second bullet was recovered that was fired from a gun that that killed Nancy Eagleson.

“And if they ever find a gun to match that bullet they should be able to trace that back to who killed her.”

Despite being only five years old at the time, Sheryl was recently able to help police create a sketch of the suspect.

She had described him at the time as a white man of a medium build, who wore “church clothes” including a tie, an overcoat and a fedora, and wore black horn-rimmed glasses and drove a dark sedan with a “winged-back”.

After such a long time, Sheryl couldn’t remember any facial features so the the forensic artist created two sketches – one without any facial features and one with generic ones.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said: “This man was seared into the memory of a young girl who survived a heinous crime many years ago.

“Now, thanks to forensic artistry at BCI, we can see the suspected killer through her eyes and hopefully discover his identity.”

Paulding County Sheriff Landers added that “after 63 years, it’s hard to clearly recall every detail, but she did great”.

“I am hopeful this sketch will resonate with someone and will contact my office with their tip,” he said.

Nic said that while the two women welcomed the reopening of the case, it did bring back some grim memories.

At the time, it was thought the suspect could have been someone local.

Nic explained that Paulding is the kind of city where everyone knows each other.

“They believe that it was somebody local,” he said.

“Imagine that – they have very likely spoken to this person, had interactions with them maybe even sat across the dinner table from them.

“It was a very heartbreaking case, two sisters walking home and one of them witnesses the other being abducted.

“That is something out of a horror film. It’s haunting for them knowing that they’ve probably crossed paths with the killer.”

Anyone with information related to the case has been asked to contact the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office.

Nic Edwards is a member of the Porchlight Project, the host of True Crime Garage and the author of The Delphi Murders 

GoFundMeMerrill posing with their mum’s book[/caption]

OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE The Sheriff’s office has released a map showing how Nancy’s body was found about eight miles from where she was kidnapped[/caption]

Nic EdwardsNic Edwards said the two women are still waiting to find out who killed their sister[/caption]

Nancy was abducted as she was walking home with her sister

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