The Elmira Police Department in Elmira, New York, issued the following press release on March 15, 2024:

Mary Theresa Simpson-60th Anniversary Update

On Sunday March 15th 1964, 12-year-old Elmira girl Mary Theresa Simpson was reported missing to the Elmira Police Department. Four days later on March 19th 1964, her body was discovered covered with rocks and debris on Combs Hill Rd by residents of the area.

In 2022, the Elmira Police Department was awarded funding through a grant request with Season of Justice. Season of Justice is a nonprofit dedicated to providing funding for investigative agencies and families to help solve cold cases and bring resolution to those impacted by unsolved violent crimes. The funds have been allocated for advanced DNA testing and analysis conducted by Texas based Othram Inc. This specialized testing is in relation to DNA found on Mary Theresa Simpson’s blouse by the New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center in the year 2000. Recent advances in DNA technology will allow the recovered profile from the blouse to be used for genetic genealogy and family tree research.

In 2023, the Elmira Police Department Detective Bureau partnered with the Criminal Investigation Resource Center (CIRC) at Russell Sage College. The Center is operated under the direction of Dr. Christina Lane, a criminologist and an associate professor of criminal justice at Russell Sage. The CIRC is only the second center of its kind in New York State and one of less than a dozen such centers in the nation. Thus far, the Center has provided invaluable assistance to the Department including case organization and digitizing of documents, site surveys, and in-depth review of documents, suspects, and forensics to further the investigative efforts of this case.

Despite the age of this homicide, the Elmira Police Department continues to ask anyone with information about this crime to call the Elmira Police Department at (607) 737-5626 or leave a message on the anonymous tip-line at (607) 271-HALT.

More information on the partnerships described above can be found online:

Coverage of the case by WENY News can also be found online.

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