"We remain committed to finding the remains of Grace and Gracie Reapp," Vt. State Police Capt. David Covell told reporters Tuesday.
Thirty-two years and several searches later, police still do not know where Grace and Gracie Reapp are. They're presumed murdered by Michael Reapp, who detectives say was cheating on his wife, Grace, in the late 1970s.
"Cadaver dogs, ground-penetrating radar, everything we can think of, we have used," Vt. State Police Det. Sgt. Ed Meslin said, describing fruitless searches for the remains.
Police now believe they know what happened to their suspect. Michael Reapp had been living in Florida with a new family when he learned of a search of his former property back in Jericho, Vermont. He fled and police say they're nearly certain he's been dead since 1997.
"But at this point, we do believe it's Michael Reapp," Covell said.
A fingerprint matched a man involved in a carjacking and police chase in Arizona. He committed suicide before cops there knew who he was, but scientists recently identified him as Reapp. Police are looking at DNA testing as a way to confirm the John Doe in Arizona is actually Michael Reapp. Now Vermont detectives hope anyone who may have been in fear of coming forward will have no reason to remain silent.
"This information is fairly new," Meslin said. "A few people have been interviewed, but there are more interviews to do with people who associated with Michael Reapp in 1978."
The story of Grace and Gracie Reapp is not an isolated one. There are more than 25 Vermont homicides that are still unsolved.
"We remain dedicated to re-examining these cases on an annual basis and pursuing whatever leads that may be generated," Covell said.
Investigators hope that even with Michael Reapp dead they can breathe new life into this cold case. They still hope someone knows something about where Grace and Gracie Reapp may be, whether in Jericho, or someplace else in Vermont or out-of-state. Investigators ask anyone with information call the St. Albans State Police barracks at 802-524-5993.
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