SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Cyndi Scherer wants answers.
And she’s been waiting 27 years to learn who killed her daughter.
Her daughter, Debra Grabher, was found dead near 800 West South Temple in Salt Lake City. It was January 1992 when Scherer left for work that night. When she returned her daughter was gone.
“I called in a missing persons report,” said Scherer. “They said, don’t worry, she’ll show up.”
The next day, the police called her back to show a picture of a teen whose body was found wrapped in a blanket.
“She was dumped in the lot near our house,” said Scherer. “It’s just so shocking that I just want to cry.”
Grabner barely moved to Salt Lake City that fall. She was attending West High School.
“She was very shy, quiet,” said Thunder Heard who befriended her in 1992. “I was trying to get to know her. She didn’t make that many friends.
Back then, the mother along with her female friend Kat Fredrickson-Wood and her ex-husband Lawrence were seriously questioned.
In 1992, Fitzpatrick-Wood told an ABC4 reporter that police “were barking up the wrong tree.” She maintained her innocence.
“I want to find the person that killed Debbie and I want them dealt with just as swiftly as can be,” Fitzpatrick-Wood said in 1992.
Scherer said her friend died two years later. The cause of Grabher’s murder has never been revealed. Police kept that information from the public for investigative purposes.
“This was no accident,” said Scherer. “I don’t know if they actually meant to kill her but I can’t give any other reason you would kidnap someone, tie them up, cover their eyes.”
Salt Lake police suspected someone close to the family murdered Grabher.
The trio was given lie detector tests and they all failed.
Scherer said she was suffering emotionally from her daughter’s murder when she took the polygraph.
But she did suspect her friend’s ex-husband.
“She had a husband who Debbie absolutely hated,” said Scherer. “(Once) she spat on him. I have asked for that husband never to come into the house and he was always in the house every night that I worked.”
The Utah Cold Case Coalition has also been searching for answers. Karra Porter, an attorney and the founder of the coalition said Grabher was new to the area, had few friends, was never in trouble and didn’t use drugs.
“It’s just really an odd set of circumstances,” said Porter. “Somebody was actually seen dumping the body which was unusual.”
And that witness also saw the person using a shopping cart to carry a large bundle. The witness called police leading to the discovery near 800 West South Temple in Salt Lake City.
“The person had the stature of a male but I don’t think they know the gender for sure. The person was wearing Outback boots and had a long coat.”
But after 27 years, still, no one has been arrested. Grabher’s murder remains unsolved.
“I don’t know why,” Scherer said. “Why? Why was my baby killed? She was 15.”
There is a reward offered by the Utah Cold Case Coalition for any information that leads to an arrest/ conviction.
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