Kristin O’Connell Unsolved Homicide Case

Advocacy in Action

Case Overview

“She was my daughter, and they’re not going to kill my daughter and walk away,” Phyllis O’Connell

Phyllis O’Connell, the mother of Kristin O’Connell, a college student from Minnesota who was murdered in Ovid, NY in August 1985, has been fighting for justice for her daughter for over 37 years. Kristin had traveled to Ovid to visit a man she had met during Spring Break, but disappeared the day after she called her mother to inform her that she was cutting her trip short. The man reported her missing to law enforcement thirteen hours later, and Kristin’s naked body was discovered in a nearby cornfield two days later. An autopsy revealed that Kristin had been stabbed multiple times and her throat had been slashed, but toxicology testing showed no alcohol in her system, and there were no signs of sexual assault.

Authorities have maintained that Kristin’s murder was a crime of opportunity committed by a random stranger passing through a small rural town, but rumors have circulated for over three decades that suggest otherwise. Despite efforts by State Police, no arrests have been made in connection with her murder. In 2009, a request to retest evidence was denied by the NYS commissioner of health, and in 2021, an offer by a team of esteemed investigators to work alongside NYS Police to review the case, create a profile, follow leads, and interview potential suspects and test all the physical evidence in the case at no cost to the citizens of New York State or Seneca County was declined. District Attorney Mark Sinkiewicz has not responded to Phyllis O’Connell’s attempts to reach out for information about her daughter’s case.


Ovid, NY

Date Missing

August 14, 1985

Body Found

August 16, 1985

Years Unsolved

How CCA Helped

Built Digital Case File

Added the case to the uncovered national cold case database. We had over 10,000 unique views on her case page within the first month.

Gained Media Exposure

Gained national news coverage on Fox News and Dateline NBC’s Cold Case Spotlight on the 36th anniversary of her murder. Her case was also featured on the podcasts Method and Madness, Crimepedia and Nefarious Nightmare on a True Crime Talk episode on Clubhouse.

Fundraising Appeal and Petition Developed

Revised Change.org and GoFundMe petitions and re-circulated them through various digital platforms.

This resulted in a 200% increase in petition signatures

Ongoing Media and Case Advocacy

Press release on the launch of the podcast mini- series on her case.

Regional News Segments-WETM-18

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