KUSA - Julie Marchese left a party in downtown Denver at daybreak on Dec. 14, 1980.
"She said 'I'm going to find my way home,'" Denver homicide detective Ken Klaus said.
The 18-year-old didn't have a car. The theory is Julie started walking down East Colfax looking for a ride to her home in Aurora. Her sister, Linda Marchese, says it was not unusual for Julie to hitchhike
"I even hitched with her when we were younger," Linda Marchese said. "It was really no big thing back then."
Detective Klaus believed someone must have picked up Julie in his car, then killed her. Just six hours after Julie left the party, kids found her body, stripped naked and shot.
She had been dumped in the water behind the Pepsi plant at 38th Street and Arkins Court.
Julie's mom and dad had watched news coverage of the murder, but they did not realize the victim was their daughter until the following day.
Julie's mom, Phyllis Marchese, remembers hearing the horrible news, then she "collapsed on the floor."
Julie was the oldest of three sisters.
"Julie was a happy girl," Phyllis Marchese remembers. "She was talented, very intelligent, dabbled with poetry, just loved music."
"A lot of the music will remind me of her," Linda Marchese added. "We were a very close family, a small, close family,"
Klaus reopened the case last summer. He says he's looked at several persons of interest.
"There are people we are looking at for that time frame, the time between when she left. We don't know what their connection is," Klaus said.
Detective Klaus wants to hear from anyone who remembers Julie Marchese or remembers a young woman wearing a blue down coat, long, flared top, and jeans on Colfax that morning so long ago.
"It's time," Klaus said.
"We need justice; we need closure," Arlene said.
Julie Marchese would be 51 years old if she were alive today. If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP.
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