Middletown Police continue to investigate teen's death 30 years - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Middletown Police continue to investigate teen's death 30 years later

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Middletown Police are continuing to investigate the death of a teen that happened 30 years ago. 

On July 31, 1985, 18-year-old Lisa Berry went missing after she went on a run. One day later she was found dead.

Berry had just graduated from Middletown High School and was going to be attending Amherst College. She was a cross country runner. 

On July 31, at about 5:30 p.m., Berry told her mother that she was going to go for a run and would be home in time for dinner around 6:30 p.m. Berry was training for the upcoming fall season at Amherst College. 

Berry left her house on Braeburn Lane and turned onto Highland Crescent, then took a right onto Westlake Drive. According to police, while Berry was running, she was seen by and talked to many people on the route. 

In 1985, Westlake Drive was a heavily wooded area and only had a few condominiums, but there was construction underway for new ones. 

According to police, on August 1, 1985, Berry's body was found face down in a perk hole that was filled with four feet of water. The hole was located off a cross-country running path. 

The State Medical Examiner's Office determined that Berry's cause of death was asphyxia by submersion. 

People who knew Berry said she was very friendly, popular and a star athlete. Even 30 years after her death, Berry's presence is still in her old Middletown neighborhood. 

"In this neighborhood, we're a close knit community. Everyone knew everyone. For her to get murdered out here like that was devastating," said Roosevelt James. 

James live on Braeburn Lane when Berry was murdered. he said she was a classmate of his at Middletown High School and a teammate on the track team. James even saw her the day she died. 

"She was jogging and I waved to her and she waved and went about her business like she always did," James said. 

That brief encounter led police to question James, which was pretty frightening for him. 

"They came to my parents house saying that I was the last one seen with her and like I said, I was scared at the time," James said. 

James said when he explained that he merely saw Berry, investigators left him alone, but police have been struggling for three decades to figure out who killed her. 

The Middletown Police Department has been working closely with A.S.A. Peter McShane and his staff to solve this case. The Forensic Science Laboratory for the State of Connecticut has also been helping the Middletown Police Department. 

After 30 years, Middletown Police are still investigating this case. Detectives will be reviewing the case since DNA technology has improved dramatically over the past 30 years. 

"I'm pretty excited, I wish they would find out who committed this murder," James said. 

Middletown Police would like to speak to anyone who may remember Berry and may have seen her on the day she went missing. If anyone has heard anything about the case, no matter how minor, they are asked to contact the Middletown Police Department as 860-638-4000. 

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