FREDERICK, Md (WDVM)–30 years ago, a 17-year-old girl was murdered after closing up shop at a retail store.
No arrests have ever been made but a new direction by the Frederick Police Department could shake up the cold case.
“She wasn’t a mean person at all, whatsoever. So that question is “Why?” “What could she have ever done to you to brutally take her life that way?,” questions Deonda Kirkpatrick.
Tracey Kirkpatrick was an honor roll student at Brunswick High School. She liked writing poetry and loved animals. She had dreams of becoming a lawyer.
“She was smart. She was really smart. Tracey was the more studious. She cared a lot about school, studied,” said Deonda, Tracey’s sister.
The family moved from Pennsylvania down to Point-of-Rocks, Maryland so dad, Bill, could find work.
She was a middle child with one brother and two sisters.
“She was the one that always trying to get the other ones to do right,” said Bill Kirkpatrick.
At 17-years-old, Tracey worked two jobs after school. Deonda says she wanted to help pay for college. She had applied to Mount St. Mary’s University, but she would never get to go.
On March 15, 1989, Tracey was working the closing shift as a women’s sportswear store that stood at the Westridge Shopping Center on the Golden Mile. Shortly after the store had closed, she was murdered and then found by a security guard.
“About 22:50 hours, police responded. They found a deceased white female inside the store with multiple stab wounds to her body,” explained Sgt. Andrew Alcorn with the Frederick Police Department.
No money was taken from the register, and police confirm that she was not sexually assaulted.
Police questioned the family, and also spoke with the security guard, who found Tracey’s body, and a young man she had briefly dated.
“This case was taken to a grand jury indictment based on the evidence we had at one point. The grand jury returned the indictment and did not find probable cause for charges. That’s basically why those two were ruled out,” Alcorn explained.
In the 30 years since multiple detectives have been assigned the case, but no arrest has ever been made.
Now the Frederick Police Department is trying a new strategy.
“Instead of just one detective putting a set of eyes on it, we would take the most experienced detectives in the unit, four of five of them, and have all of them look at the case together and develop new ideas, new leads,” said Alcorn.
Alcorn says the group is actively interviewing suspects and seeking out new ways of evaluating collected evidence. And they’re confident they’ll be able to find the killer.
“I never thought we’d be thirty years later still trying to figure out why and who. Never. This is just going to go away with my mom and dad, it won’t go away with me. We’re not going to stop giving up hope,” said Deonda.
Alcorn says it’s the first time in about a decade that the police department has tackled a homicide with a group approach.
If you have any information on this cold case, you are asked contact Sgt. Andrew Alcorn with the Frederick Police Department at 240-674-2612.