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Denise Simon murder: Search continues for killer who strangled, left Kent woman on side of road in 1997

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“Denise Simon was a young mother. She had two children, she had a whole life ahead of her,” says Kent Det. Melanie Robinson.

The 32-year-old went out with a group of friends the night of July 19th, 1997. “They headed to the West Hill of Kent to a restaurant called the South China Doll, which was a common little local spot to hang out,” Det. Robinson recalls. After a few hours the group moved on to another club down the road. Detectives say Denise wasn’t having a good time and opted to leave and hitchhike to a friend’s house. “She makes it down, we know she made it down to the residence; however nobody was there,” Det. Robinson says. “She did make a phone call to someone and from there she said that she was going to walk home.”

That was around 2am. Her home was a mile and a half away. She passed the Mill Creek Earthwork’s Park and it was near there that Det. Robinson says she met her killer. “We know that she was attacked and sexually assaulted." She was also strangled and her body left in the woods near a busy road. She was discovered later that day by a teenager walking by. “He went home and his parents didn’t believe him and so the next day he wanted to show them, thinking it was a dead body, so he brought his dad out here and sure enough, that’s when they discovered Denise," Det. Robinson adds. The man who killed Denise left behind a sure way to identify himself but who he is remains a mystery. Det. Robinson continues, “There was DNA left behind. We’ve tested the DNA against numerous individuals and have never had success at locating a match so we know this subject is still out there obviously and just never committed a serious felony because his DNA was never taken.”

Police are still looking for the killer almost 20 years later and need your help to finally find him. Det. Robinson adds, “Somebody knows who did this. Whether that individual’s watching or not, somebody knows something.”

If you have any information about Denise's murder or think you know anything that can finally help Kent police find her killer, call an anonymous tip into:

You must call the Crime Stoppers hotline with your tip to be eligible to receive a cash reward for information leading to a fugitive’s arrest.

CLICK HERE for information on how to TEXT A TIP to Crime Stoppers.