LIMA — On the five-year anniversary of the death of Tara Cutlip, friends and family gathered in Gesthemani Cemetery to remember her by releasing dozens of purple and pink balloons — purple to draw attention to the problem of domestic violence and pink because it was Tara’s favorite color.
Cutlip was found shot to death April 6, 2013, inside the home she was renting at 1157 Bahama Drive.
No arrests have been made in the case.
“I just feel like nothing’s been done. It’s like it’s been thrown under the rug and I feel like she was more important than that to me and I just hope she’s more important than that to everybody else,” said Patty Cutlip, mother of Tara.
What would Patty like to say to the person she believes killed her daughter?
“You keep saying you didn’t do this, take a lie detector test. Prove us wrong. You say you love her so much you would have never done that, well, you’re not proving that in any way,” she said.
As of right now, there’s no direct evidence leading to the killer and that frustrates prosecutors.
“It’s horribly frustrating simply because you have the death of a woman and her unborn child. Somebody knows something they haven’t told somebody and we would hope and pray that they come forward and tell somebody, specifically the police officers,” said Allen County Prosecutor Juergen Waldick, who wouldn’t categorize this as a cold case.
“When the police department gets leads they check them out and if one of those leads ends up being a break in the case we would certainly pursue it,” said Waldick.
The Lima Police detective working the case is hopeful an arrest can be made.
“I can tell you we’re still actively following up on some new leads. I’m fairly optimistic that they might lead us somewhere,” said Steve Stechschulte, Lima Police Detective.
With five years gone by, the search for who killed Cutlip has had its ups and downs.
It’s gone “back and forth between being cold and actively looked at over the last several years but it’s definitely not what I would call a cold case where we’re just out of places to go. I’m pretty optimistic about some of the new leads that we’ve gotten and I’m hoping it will lead us to where we need to be,” Stechschulte said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.