Family of Cold Case Murder Victim Longs for Closure

NORTH SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It's been 37 years since Melinda, David and Melissa Forbes last saw their brother Stephen.

"He was a great older brother," David said.

Siblings say he was always occupied, always inclusive.

"He did a lot for me in that 28 years," David said.

But his life was cut short.

"Boy, he could have done a lot more," Melissa said.

Stephen was last seen on July 8, 1980. Several days later, police recovered his pickup truck at the airport and found his remains off Route 20 near LaFayette. 

"I can remember vividly the next day after they found the body, and the announcement over the radio that said the body had been found and they needed somebody to identify him by his jewelry," Melinda said. "My friend looked at me and I said, 'I can't go.' I just knew."

"It was a sense of closure at the time, but the closure is still not there, because it really hasn't been solved yet," David said. "It's been almost 37 years, and I'm sure we'd all like some closure."

State police are working to bring it. The department's cold case team continues to investigate Stephen's death. As long as they do, his family hopes for answers -- year after year after year.

"We can always hope," Melissa said. "It just gets harder and harder to hope."     

But never hard enough to quit.

"There has to be somebody out there that knows something that can shed some new light on it," David said.

Meanwhile, the family will wait and hope for the closure they've already spent decades waiting for.

"It'd be a great thing," David said.

The family is often in contact with detectives from the cold case program, and there is a reward for any information leading to an arrest.

Police ask anybody with information to call senior investigators in Troop D. You can reach them at 315-366-6003.

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