'Dateline NBC' to air show on Mihaljevic case

Mihaljevic

“Dateline NBC” will air a story this fall about the kidnapping and murder of Amy Mihaljevic.

The TV newsmagazine staffers interviewed Bay Village Police Chief Mark Spaetzel and other investigators involved with the ongoing case in July. The episode is expected to air this fall, Spaetzel said.

This is the second time in less than a year that a national TV show is doing a story about the 1989 kidnapping and murder of the 10-year-old Bay Village girl.

“It’s never stopped drawing attention, which is good for an investigator,” Spaetzel said of the Mihaljevic case. “We are always looking to get additional information which could help us on the case.”

The cable network Investigation Discovery aired the show “Who Killed Amy Mihaljevic” in December and January. Afterward, investigators got about 100 tips, calls and contacts, Spaetzel said. Some tips investigators had heard before, some have not panned out and some police are still working on.

“Whenever something is written or aired, we’ll get calls,” Spaetzel said. “Some of them are from the same people or the same type of information we’ve heard before. But there is always some fresh leads after something like this show, which is good.”

On Oct. 27, 1989, someone called Amy at her home and convinced her to go buy a present for her mother at the Bay Square Shopping Center, where she was kidnapped. A jogger found her body more than three months later in a field near Township Road 1181 in Ashland County.

With the 30th anniversary approaching, Spaetzel expects the case will continue to draw interest.

“A young girl being taken from a public area during a busy time of the year is thankfully not something you see a lot of,” Spaetzel said. “Plus, it remains unsolved so far, so it’s likely it will continue to be interesting to many people.”

“Dateline NBC” officials declined to comment about their story.

Spaetzel said the “Dateline” staff is taking an interesting approach.

“They were focusing on what happened with Amy during the last few days of her life,” Spaetzel said. “I haven’t seen a lot of the other stories do much about that part of what happened to her. This could help people think about it from a fresh angle or remember something they hadn’t thought of before.”

Spaetzel said his department, the FBI and others continue to work on the case. The FBI has offered a reward of up to $25,000 for information that helps solve it.

Cleveland FBI Agent Vickie Anderson said more publicity about the case can always help.

“Having it on one of the primary national network news shows should get a lot of people watching it,” Anderson said. “It’s been a couple of years since we showed the blanket and curtain which were near her body when it was found (Feb. 6, 1990), so this could help get new evidence.”

The Cleveland FBI office has a poster of Amy and information about the case posted prominently on its website, https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/amy-renee-mihaljevic.

“It’s one of those cases any agent or retired agent will always think about until it’s solved,” Anderson said.

Contact this reporter at assoceditor@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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