Later that day, an Illinois State Trooper found Zywicki’s car — a 1985 Pontiac T1000 with New Jersey license plates — and ticketed it as an abandoned vehicle. The petite blonde female had been wrapped in a red blanket bound with duct tape, been sexually assaulted, and stabbed eight times — once in the arm and seven times in a circle around her heart. Witnesses reported seeing a tractor-trailer near Zywicki’s vehicle during this time period.
She’d reportedly last been seen with her car at mile marker 83 in central Illinois sometime between and 4 p.m. Zywicki’s missing personal property included a Cannon 35mm camera and a musical wrist watch with an umbrella on its face.
Bierbodt provided both blood and hair samples for testing before being released.
A few weeks later in February 1993, the task force disbanded — citing lack of progress — and Tammy Zywicki’s homicide case eventually went cold.
Along with the FBI’s newly released information, former task force member Mc Carthy came forward with allegations that Lonnie Bierbodt should have been arrested but was never formally held as a suspect.
Mc Carthy also presented several previously unreleased facts, which he believed pointed to Bierbodt as a suspect.
In July 2007, FBI agents contacted investigators in Tennessee about questioning 56-year-old trucker Bruce Mendenhall in Zywicki’s slaying.
In “Remembering what Tammy Zywicki would have liked,” Chicago Tribune writer Mary Schmich wrote an especially poignant piece about the journey Jo Ann and Hank Zywicki made from their Florida retirement home to the small Pennsylvania town where they — and Tammy — were born.
22, 2015 said Illinois State Police turned to the nationally known organization, the Vidocq Society, for help in solving Zywicki’s murder.
The Greenville News described the Vidocq Society as follows: The Vidocq Society began with a 1990 luncheon involving three men from various specialties in criminal investigation — a former special agent for the U. Customs Service, a forensic sculptor and a prison psychologist.
Her murder attracted national attention, and Illinois State Police launched a multi-state 14-investigator task force that called in local forces and the FBI.
In January 1993, an unnamed eyewitness placed a call to the task force, stating she’d seen Zywicki pulled to the side of the road and that a man was with [Zywicki], watching as the young girl struggled to fix her car.