DNA evidence has confirmed that a young woman found dead in Texas nearly 26 years ago is a Davenport teenager that went missing after a rock concert. Seventeen-year-old Bambi Dick disappeared on September 29, 1983 after seeing the band Quiet Riot at Col Ballroom.
A little over a week later, an unidentified woman was found strangled to death along a highway north of Amarillo, Texas. Amarillo Police Lieutenant Gary Trupe says Sergeant Modeina Holmes has worked on the case ever since.
"Modeina was just not going to let this go," Trupe said. "She was going to stay here as long as it took to identify her and thankfully we did." Holmes retired in 2000, but returned part-time in 2002. She went so far as to send 18,000 letters to optometrists around the country.
Trupe says Holmes was hoping someone would recognize the girl who was wearing blue contact lenses. Those letters did not produce any leads. The break in the case finally came last month when Bambi’s brother, Paul, noticed a post on the Jane Doe Network fitting his missing sister’s profile.
DNA from Bambi’s parents confirmed her identity. Edward and Evelyn Dick still reside in Davenport. Lieutenant Trupe says detectives now hope to find Bambi Dick’s killer. "We do have a few people we want to talk to that might help us in tying together her last few days, after she left Davenport and why she was here in Texas," Trupe said. He says the Davenport teen may have left Iowa on her own to visit someone she knew in Texas.
Trupe says investigators are hoping to find that individual to learn more about the girl’s time spent in Texas. "There’s a chance," Trupe said of the potential for making an arrest in the case. "We’re not at a total standstill. There are some people we’re going to talk to…but we’re chasing 26 years." Bambi’s family now plans to get a headstone engraved with her name. They do not plan to move her body from the gravesite in Amarillo.
AUDIO:Radio Iowa’s Pat Curtis report on identification of missing Iowan. :57 MP3