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New leads sought in 1977 cold case homicide near Aurora

Cindy Joy Elias was 19 years old when her body was discovered off a remote logging trail in St. Louis County. She died of traumatic injuries to her head.
Credit: St. Louis County Sheriff's Office
The body of Cindy Joy Elias was found on March 24, 1977 off a remote logging road near Aurora. She died of severe head trauma, and her killer has never been found.

AURORA, Minnesota — The calendar pages turn, but those who loved Cindy Joy Elias do not forget. 

Elias was just 19 years old on March 24, 1977, when her body was discovered off a remote logging road about eight miles north of Aurora, a town in the heart of Minnesota's Iron Range. She had been buried under a pile of brush, and an autopsy revealed that she died of traumatic injuries to her head. 

A witness told detectives at the time that Elias was last seen alive at a bar in the community of Virginia, looking for a ride home. She reportedly mentioned that she was going to hitchhike. 

The person responsible for killing Cindy Joy Elias has never been publicly identified or charged and now, 45 years later, investigators are trying to throw some heat on a very cold case. 

On Tuesday the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Apprehension (BCA) Cold Case Unit put out a plea asking anyone who knows anything about Cindy's death or the person responsible to step forward. 

"Please bring closure to the family and friends of Cindy Joy Elias and bring those responsible for this crime to justice," the sheriff's office conveyed in a news release sent to media outlets.

Investigators often say cold cases are often solved by changing relationships, loyalty that fades over time and guilt that takes a person toll on someone with direct knowledge of a crime. 

St. Louis County investigators are asking those who may know who is responsible for the death of Cindy Joy Elias to call 218-749-7134. 

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