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Kristin O'Connell

College student goes for walk and is found dead in cornfield

  • Last updated: August 15, 2023
  • Ovid, NY
  • August 15, 1985

Overview of Kristin O'Connell

"She was my daughter, and they're not going to kill my daughter and walk away," Phyllis O'Connell.

In August of 1985, twenty-year-old Minnesota college student Kristin O'Connell traveled to Ovid, NY, a small town in the Finger Lakes to visit a young man she met on Captiva Island over Spring Break. The day after she arrived, Kristin called her mother from a payphone and told her she was cutting her trip very short and planned to leave for home the following day.

That same night, Kristin disappeared.

Thirteen hours later, the young man she came to visit would report her missing to law enforcement. He alleged that at around 11:30 the night before, Kristin left his trailer to take a walk alone down an unlit road, in an unfamiliar town, without shoes or a purse. A team of local firemen would find Kristin's rain-soaked naked body on August 16th in a nearby cornfield, less than a quarter of a mile away from the trailer where she was staying. Kristin had been stabbed multiple times, and her throat had been slashed. Testing would prove her body was free of alcohol at the time of her death, and the coroner would find no signs of sexual assault.

State Police have long asserted that Kristin's murder was a crime of opportunity committed by a random stranger passing through town. Rumors have persisted for over three decades in the small town where Kristin was murdered that her death was not a crime of opportunity. Some claim to know precisely what happened to Kristin and who is responsible for her murder. In the thirty-six years since Kristin's death, despite their efforts, State Police have not made a single arrest in connection with her murder.

Where is the case today?

The NYS Police recently rejected a new offer to participate in a documentary series about Kristin's murder and to make a comment to the media about their decision. The documentary director, Christopher Pavlick has a NY certified DNA lab and former law enforcement experts (FBI) offering to test the materials in this case to see if they can find any DNA. Seneca County District Attorney Mark Sinkiewicz has never returned a phone call or responded to an email from the victim's mother. In December 2009, a similar request was submitted to the NYS Department of Health and at that time NYS senator Mike Nozzolio, Senator Chuck Schumer and MN Senator Amy Klobuchar supported the efforts of then DA Barry Porsche and NYS Police Investigator Jeff Arnold to use new touch DNA technology offered by a Dutch team of touch DNA experts. This request was denied by NYS commissioner of health, Howard Zucker.


  1. Date of Death:August 15, 1985
  2. Birthday:January 12, 1965
  3. Age at Incident:20
  4. Race:Caucasian / White
  5. Gender:Female

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