“I’ve heard people say, ‘well who cares, it’s been 22 years’. Well we care. And we’re still going to care until we have something,” said Tonya Tweedy, Tammy Haas’ cousin.
Twenty-two years after 19-year-old Tammy Haas of Yankton, South Dakota was killed, her family and law enforcement are still searching for answers as to what happened to her that night back in 1992.
An unsolved murder committed more than two decades ago is gaining new traction and response, both around the Yankton community and across the country. And it’s all thanks to social media.
It’s been 22 years since 19-year-old Tammy Haas was found dead, her death ruled foul play. And while Tammy was
laid to rest, her case has not. The cold case has haunted the family and the community for two decades. But it’s heating back up again thanks to social media.
“After 22 years, we just want more of a peace of mind, more of a closure, I guess,” said Tonya Tweedy, Tammy Haas’ cousin.
Tonya Tweedy was just a freshman in high school when her cousin, Tammy Haas, went missing at a homecoming party in September of 1992. She was found dead in a nearby ravine a few days later.
Tammy’s death was ruled foul play and over the years, there have been plenty of leads in the case, including one of the suspect’s going to trial in the case. He was later acquitted. But despite a lengthy investigation that still remains open, there are still few answers as to what happened to Tammy Haas the night she died.
“We want to know what happened. How did she get from the party, how did she wind up in the ditch, what happened? You know, we just want to have closure within our own hearts,” said Tonya Tweedy, Tammy Haas’ cousin.
Tammy’s family, along with thousands of others, are searching for answers both around the Yankton community and even across the world.
In just the past three months, a new effort to solve the case has sprung up, including a “Justice for Tammy Haas” Facebook page that’s grown to 4,200 likes. Hundreds also follow @Justice4Tammy on Twitter. And now, there’s a YouCaring website that lets people chip in and help pay to fund reward money for tips in the case, as well as possibly hiring a private investigator. The page has already raised $15,000 in just a few weeks.
“I think it’s doing a little better than we imagined it would. But I think, in my perspective, I’m just providing and facilitating an opportunity for people to do something. I think people have wanted to do something for a while, but what do you do?,” Daniel DeGroff, Tammy’s YouCaring page founder.
DeGroff says he grew up with one of Tammy’s brothers and has grown up around the mystery of Tammy’s murder. But that’s not the case for many getting involved with the social media efforts. The family says they’ve heard from people all over the world expressing their interest in both the case and finding answers.
And while it’s a mystery that’s captivated thousands for more than 20 years, Tammy’s family says it’s time for
someone to speak up and share what they know, so Tammy can finally rest in peace.
“Let the silence be broken. Tammy needs to have justice,” Tweedy said.
The family says they’re planning on holding a 5K for Tammy this September in the Yankton area, around homecoming, as a way to honor her memory. They say they’re hoping that this year, when they reach the anniversary of her death that they come to it with answers and closure, too.