Family Hopes for Justice 19 Years After Teen’s Brutal Murder

The family of Jennifer Persia believes authorities are "within inches" of suspect in her murder

Carol Persia Ross says the search for whoever murdered her sister has been going on for 19 years, which is longer than her sister's life-- cut short at age 16.

Jennifer Persia was brutally murdered in April of 1994 inside the family's Magnolia, N.J. home.

Her sister remembered the night she pulled up to the family's home and saw crime tape around the house.  "I yelled, where's my sister?" He (Dad) couldn't say anything to me at first, he just held me and then finally he said, she's gone," said Ross.

Jennifer, a teen track star, was stabbed more than two dozen times and was also strangled and beaten.

Nobody has ever been charged with Persia's murder, but this is anything but a cold case, according to Ross.

"I really honestly think that we are definitely, without a doubt, within inches of the person," said Ross.

Sources tell NBC10's Deanna Durante that prosecutors had developed a person of interest in case, Scott Ross, but he died at the end of April.


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Prosecutors say his death does not mark the end of the investigation, and say new information was received at the beginning of May.

"One down, one more to go at least. And we will not stop. I have not stopped and I'm going to keep going no matter what it takes me until the day I die," said Ross.

Ross says her sister was a strong girl, who threw shot put and could outrun the boys on the track.

"Without a doubt, I knew it was more than one person. I think we all did. Jennifer was incredibly strong," said Ross, who believes two or three people may have been involved in the murder.

"There is no closure, nothing will ever close that situation of someone dying, especially in the manner that Jennifer did," said Ross.

A reward up to $15,000 is being offered by the Citizens Crime Commission for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Anyone with information is asked to call 215-546-TIPS.

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