Cold Case Investigations: Who killed Odessa Meister?

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December 20th, 2019 marks 67 years since Odessa was last seen alive

CUMBERLAND, Md. (WDVM)– On January 16th, 1953, two seniors from Fort Hill High School were walking on Lover’s Lane near McNamee’s hill, when they came across the unexpected.

“Her body was found off at the end of this lane.” said MSP Spokesperson Greg Shipley.

Shocking the Cumberland community.

“She had very obvious signs of trauma to her head.” said Shipley.

Maryland State Troopers found 35-year-old Odessa Meister. She was last seen on December 20th, 1952. Troopers say she was getting on a transit bus near her home on Columbia Street, she was heading to work at Amcelle Plant of Celanese Corporations. But, she never made it.

She was a mother, wife, and sister. The autopsy revealed she died of severe facial trauma, including her skull being crushed in.

“Injuries were to the left side of her head, she may have been sitting in the passenger seat of a car, struck by her attacker and then carried out of the car to that location.” said Shipley.

Investigators believe the amount of information leaked in the media impacted the case. Suspects were named, photographed and specific case details were revealed inside and out to the public.

“There was a debate whether or not suspects should be publicly identified if you read press accounts back then.” said Shipley. “I know the States Attorney was questioned about that back then, a member of his office identified a specific suspect. So often it can hinder an investigation significantly.”

December 20, 2019, marks the 67th anniversary of the last time Odessa Meister was seen.

Almost seven decades later, Maryland State Police say they will continue to search for what happened to her.

“No one was charged with this crime, no one was brought to justice.” said Shipley. “Because a certain number of years passed doesn’t impact whether or not we think justice should be served and it remains to be served in this case.”

Anyone with information regarding Odessa Meister’s case is asked to contact Maryland State Police 410-653-4211.

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