That was the comment of Carmen Guenther Mader as she gazed at the larger-than-life photo of her daughter, Christine Guenther. The photo was displayed Monday on a Peters Township billboard exactly 30 years to the date and time when the 15-year-old's body was discovered. The case remains unsolved.
The "they" Mader referred to is a group of her daughter's friends, former classmates and family members who launched a website (www.chrisguenthermurder.com) a year ago in an effort to finally bring the teen's killer to justice.
And justice is what Mader hopes comes from the renewed interest in her daughter's murder prompted by the group, Friends of Christine Guenther.
Guenther left Peters Township High School shortly before 12:30 p.m. Oct. 26, 1981. Her plans were to catch a bus to Pittsburgh for a doctor's appointment, and she was last seen near a convenience store at Donaldsons Crossroads. Five days later, at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 31, 1981, her body was found along a rural road in South Fayette Township, Allegheny County.
The significance of 12:30 p.m. Monday was not lost on the group of more than 30 people who gathered in a small parking lot at the intersection of Valley Brook and Washington roads to unveil a six-section electronic billboard. The alternating signs feature Guenther's photograph, information about her murder and the number of a 24-hour tip line to Allegheny County police.
While Guenther was last seen in Peters Township, Washington County, her body was found in Allegheny County, and the homicide falls under that jurisdiction.
Regis Kelly, now a special agent with the state attorney general's office, was the Allegheny County detective who investigated Guenther's death. He attended the small remembrance Monday, along with James Morton, assistant superintendent of Allegheny County police.
Kelly said that although he no longer has jurisdiction with the county police, he was asked to review his files as the 30th anniversary of the teen's death approached.
"All cases are active," Morton said. "Any unsolved case is active."
As for the billboard, Morton said any information is helpful, including data on the group's website.
In the past 30 years, Mader lost her daughter and was widowed. She remarried and moved away, but the memory of what happened to her young daughter never really goes away.
"You think it's going to get easier, but then it's her birthday or Mother's Day," Mader said as her voice faded.
Quest for answers into '81 killing of Peters girl continues
30 years: Teen's killing unsolved
Good luck : 11/1/2011
Hope the culprit is caught. God bless the family and Christine.