Friends Search for Answers in Unsolved NT Murder

March 8, 2013 Updated Mar 9, 2013 at 3:47 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

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March 8, 2013 Updated Mar 9, 2013 at 3:47 PM EDT

NORTH TONAWANDA, NY (WKBW) -It's been nearly 20 years since the decomposed body of 17-year-old Mandy Steingasser was found in a Lewiston Park.

Now the people who loved Mandy are trying to jump-start the search for her killer. On September 19th, 1993 the Lumber City community was turned upside down from Mandy's mysterious disappearance. Police say she was last seen walking alone around 1:30 in the morning after she left a party near First Avenue and Ironton Street in North Tonawanda. Investigators say a short time later, a classmate picked her up in his blue Pontiac.

"We know this individual picked her up. We have witnesses that we interviewed through the years that did see this individual pick Mandy up at the deli on Oliver Street and drove away with her in the car," said Former North Tonawanda Police Detective Ross McQuade during a 2003 interview.

What happened next is unknown to police. That same classmate told police he dropped off the teen near a church at First Avenue and Oliver Street. Police were never able to confirm his story.

"I'm sure she never felt in danger getting into that car," said friend Sarah Kraus. "I don't know when danger came or what happened."

A month later on October 25th, 1993 hikers discovered a badly decomposed body at Bond Lake Park in Lewiston. Dental records confirmed it was the missing teen. Police tell us evidence was collected at the scene but there has never been an arrest in the case. Kraus will never forget her popular friend and is hoping someone will come forward with vital information leading police to the culprit. Many of the original detectives on the case have since retired from the North Tonawanda Police Department. Investigators assigned to the case refused an on-camera interview for this story but told Eyewitness News they are always reviewing past evidence and any leads that come in.

Anyone with information on this case are asked to call the North Tonawanda Police Department at: 716-692-4312.