39 Year Old Case Revisited - Theresa Dusevitch

By: Drew Steele Email
By: Drew Steele Email

The Theresa Dusevitch murder case is one of the oldest in Okaloosa County history that remains unsolved. The nineteen year old, who was known to hitch-hike, disappeared after leaving her home in Valparaiso. The body was discovered November 21st, 1973, in some woods on the Eglin reservation, near Niceville. She'd been shot to death. Thirty-nine years later, no one's been charged with the murder. But case's like Dusevitch's are getting a second look from the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office's Cold Case Chronicles.

"Well about a year ago the sheriff's office started this initiative to really put a spotlight on the cold cases we have. To not only look at them again obviously internally with the investigators, but to also go outside externally and put the spotlight on it with the public" said Public Information Officer Michele Nicholson.

"Theresa Dusevitch was assigned to me recently in the last few weeks" said Criminal Investigator Nesli Suhi-Moore.

Investigator suhi-moore is hoping to find new evidence in the Dusevitch case.

"What I have to do is basically take any old leads that they had and revisit them and see if maybe they were going down the right track in 1973 but didn't have the technology I have here in 2012" said Nesli Suhi-Moore.

Some of that technology includes new social media, like Facebook and Twitter, that wasn't around in 1973. Investigators believe the existing evidence, along with new information from the public could add new perspective to an old case.

"So it's beneficial is you get new ideas, new ways of trying to do different leads and benefiting from what others have done" said Nesli Suhi-Moore.

Suhi-Moore's next step is resubmitting original evidence to the state crime lab for new testing, like dna, which wasn't possible in 1973.

"All cold cases are important because somebody has lost a loved one in a manner that was traumatizing. Someone took this woman's life” said Nesli Suhi-Moore.

Investigators recently solved two other cold cases. The 1975 murder of Catherine Ainsworth and the 1985 murder of Donald Tidwell.


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