Denise pflum mystery continues 32 years later – local news – 13 wthr indianapolis database key value

CONNERSVILLE, ind. (WTHR) — an honor student. A talented artist. A budding scientist. At 18 years old, denise pflum had a bright future until march 28, 1986, when she would vanish without a trace.

"It is a terrible thing to simply say your daughter is missing without having any concrete knowledge as to whether she is missing or whether she is dead," david explained.

It started with a gathering the night before. Denise would forget her purse. The following day she would tell family and friends her plans to go out looking for it. It would be the last time anyone would hear from her.

"We do not believe that she ever went back to that to that area – something or some person interrupted that opportunity to do that," david believes. "We knew right away that something was wrong because she had never been out without our knowledge about where she was going to be.Indiana state

when the time unfolded into the next day and the subsequent next days then we knew we really had a problem and the problem has continued on now for 32 years."

"This is my favorite picture of her. It’s just a crowd picture," her mother, judy pflum, said while flipping through denise’s yearbook and stopping on a page of her at a football game.

"There are days that go by and it is almost like you are floating because you are so consumed by the thought and the various thoughts about what has happened to your daughter, who is responsible, what kind of action took place," david pflum said.

A day after she disappeared, her buick regal would be found in a rural farm in neighboring glenwood, but without any evidence, including fingerprints.Judy said

"I have always believed that the person or persons responsible for our daughter’s appearance is someone that she likely knew. God will punish them someday," david said.

"When people pass away, there is a need for closure, we don’t have that. In the absence of the inability to make a closure, we hold out hope that she is alive even though we know that is most likely false," david said.

Many important holidays, gatherings, and milestones have come and gone without denise. Milestones like her 21st, 30th, and 40th birthdays and just this past january, her 50th birthday.

Next door is where their youngest daughter and her family lives.Judy said the tragedy of what happened to denise has brought them all closer and in constant contact.

"They are my favorite things. I cannot buy a picture that is better," judy said. “I liked needlework and I showed her how and so she did those and she did far better than I ever thought about doing. It was just so easy for her.”

"It allows her to be with us," david said. “those pictures and artwork on the walls just makes her closer to us because they are things that she created.”

"We hold out the hope. We don’t think she had any reason to run away. She had so many things going for her, her future was so bright. With the internet, if she is alive then she knows what is going on with us.Indiana state police we are on facebook. Social media has changed the world and she could find us even though we have moved," judy said.

"There is a myth that cardinals represent the spirit of people who have gone on and last year on her birthday, I looked out the window and there was a whole flock of cardinals," judy said with a smile.

The pflum family did not live in the city limits of connersville, meaning the case went from the city police department to the fayette county sheriff’s department. The indiana state police also got involved. All three agencies have a role in the case to this day.

"I can only recall two leads we received directly in the past few years and those were unfounded," said indiana state police detective sergeant scott jarvis.Indiana state police

He collected DNA samples from the family, along with a DNA sample from denise they were able to pull from evidence. It has been put into the national DNA database system.

"Several years ago evidence was resubmitted to the indiana state police lab to check for any new results given the technology advances," jarvis continued.

Help has also come from a southwest indiana police officer. Stacy reece works for the vincennes police department as a detective. She grew up in the connersville area and is passionate about helping solve it.

"Denise was one of the reasons I became a cop. I remember thinking even as a child how wrong it was that someone could hurt someone else and never face justice.David said I looked into her disappearance in college and I do believe it is a solvable case," reese said in a facebook post.

For fayette county sheriff joey laughlin, it is also personal. "I grew up in the area and was seven years old when it happened," he said. His agency is leading the investigation and he is quick to say it is not a cold case.

"It has been an emotional and physical roller coaster that has taken us from some highs to many lows," david pflum said while fighting back tears.