|Re: 11/24/14 - New Haven Register: Police re-examine Yale student Suzanne Jovin’s murder; New Haven forum set for Dec. 4|
Police re-examine Yale student Suzanne Jovin’s murder; New Haven forum set for Dec. 4
By Register Staff
POSTED: 11/22/14, 11:20 PM EST
NEW HAVEN >> Nearly 16 years after she was viciously stabbed to death and found crumpled near the corner of Edgehill and East Rock roads, the memory of Suzanne Jovin’s death is still fresh in the minds of New Haven police and investigators, and they are hoping some miniscule detail or memory from that night is still fresh in the minds of prospective witnesses.
The Jovin Investigation Team will meet with members of the public on Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. at Wilbur Cross High School to release more details in its investigation and is asking the public to come out and discuss, re-examine, or provide information that may help lead to the arrest of the person who stabbed Jovin 17 times. It will be the 16th anniversary of the brutal murder that sent shock waves through New Haven and captured headlines around the nation.
On Saturday, students from Hillhouse High School were passing out flyers in the East Rock neighborhood where Jovin was killed, asking for public participation.
“We continue to pursue investigative leads in an effort to solve this tragic murder,” the Team stated on the flyer. “We are asking for a renewed commitment by the public to assist in solving the homicide of Suzanne Jovin. We are interested in all available information or leads, no matter how remote or trivial that information may seem. We want to hear from anyone who has heard something, or who may even have repressed the knowledge of something that could related to the murder of Suzanne Jovin. Do not assume that someone else has already provided the information. Even if you have already made a call in response to previous requests for information, you should call again so that the team may follow every possible lead.”
On the night of Dec. 4, 1998, Jovin participated in a gathering at Trinity Lutheran Church for the Best Buddies group that she volunteered for. After the gathering, she went home and then went to Phelps Gate to return the key of the Yale vehicle she borrowed for the Best Buddies event. She was last seen leaving Phelps Gate at about 9:25 p.m. It is believed that was the last time anyone, except the killer, saw her alive. At approximately 9:55 p.m., a 911 call alerted police a white female was lying in the street near the corner of Edgehill and East Rock roads.
Jovin was just 21, entering her final semester at Yale where she was studying political science and international studies, and preparing for the career that would have followed.
Since her death, suspects have been developed, but none have panned out. Yale instructor James Van de Velde, who at one time was a prime suspect, was cleared and settled a lawsuit with New Haven and Yale.Van de Velde left town after Yale officials canceled his classes for the spring semester of 1999 because they said he would be “a distraction” in the classroom during the murder investigation. He was never charged in the crime and always maintained he was innocent. The city agreed to pay him $200,000. Yale did not release the terms of its agreement. Another suspect died.
At the forum on Dec. 4, the Team will ask the public to consider the following:
• On the evening of Suzanne Jovin’s death, a female passenger took a taxi from the area of Blatchley Avenue to the Newhallville section of New Haven at about 9:30 p.m. This passenger may be a potential witness.
• On the night Suzanne died, shortly before she left her apartment, she was planning to retrieve study materials for the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) from an acquaintance who borrowed them from her. That person is not considered a suspect, but may know something about Suzanne’s plans that night.
• A couple out walking that night heard screams and subsequently found Suzanne on the ground. They immediately called 911. During that call (at approximately 9:55 p.m.), a person who was driving by the scene was overheard by dispatch asking the couple if they needed any help. Police are attempting to find that potential witness in the vehicle who may be unaware of the significance of what may have been seen.
The Team, which consists of New Haven police, the Division of Criminal Justice, the Office of Chief State’s Attorney Cold Case Unit and the Office of the New Haven State’s Attorney, says “no information is too trivial or too minor.”
The Jovin Investigation Team is hoping that someone out there has the missing detail that will enable them to bring Jovin’s killer to justice and bring closure to her parents, Tom and Donna Jovin.
In February 2000, Tom Jovin, who lives in Germany, told the Register in an email about the killer: “He will not succeed in evading justice.”