Unsolved Mysteries: Super Bowl Sunday Turns Tragic With Syracuse Teen's Murder

Jill-Lyn Euto was found dead in her apartment on January 29, 2001.
Syracuse Police Department | Syracuse Police Department

News & Politics
Jessica Powers

The Super Bowl is supposed to be a day filled with good food, family and friends, and good old American entertainment. That was the case on January 28, 2001, when the American Football Conference champion Baltimore Ravens and the National Football Conference champion New York Giants faced off in Super Bowl XXXV.

For 18-year-old Jill-Lyn Euto, the Super Bowl was going to be another chance to spend time with her mother and sister. The teenager from Syracuse, New York had made plans to watch the game with her family. But the game came and went, and Jill-Lyn never showed up. Her mother,

Joanne Browning, called her phone several times, but never got an answer.

Joanne was of course worried, but in her mind, she figured Jill-Lyn would eventually call back with some explanation of where she was and why she didn't show up for the game as planned. Eventually, she went to bed and hoped she would touch base with her daughter in the morning.

An Awful Discovery

Police tape at a crime scene
Shutterstock | 507946

The following day, Jill-Lyn's mother woke up and still hadn't heard from her daughter. She called Jill-Lyn's work and found out that her daughter never showed up for a scheduled shift at a store in a nearby shopping mall, which was completely unlike her. Jill-Lyn was serious about her future and was studying to become a paramedic. She lived alone in her James Street apartment and was determined to prove her independence.

As her concern grew, Joanne decided to go to Jill-Lyn's apartment, where she made a horrifying discovery. There, she found Jill-Lyn dead of stab wounds.

The Investigation Begins

The investigation into Jill-Lyn's murder started the day she was discovered.
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Police believe that Jill-Lyn was killed sometime between noon and 3 p.m. on January 28, which was the day of the Super Bowl, with one of the knives from her very own kitchen. They said there were no signs of forced entry and no money was taken, ruling out robbery as a motive.

Other residents who reported seeing Jill-Lyn on Sunday said she was alone and that whoever killed her did not come into the building with her. Her family believes someone took advantage of her trusting nature, which ultimately lead to her death.

Spreading The News

Laptop and newspapers
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Joanne Browning appeared on national television on shows such as Sally Jesse Raphael, Montel Williams, and was also profiled on America's Most Wanted to try to get more attention on her daughter's case.

The Case Grows Cold

Jill-Lyn's murder becomes a cold case.
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Police have not publicly identified any suspects even to this day, 21 years later. Former Madison County Correction Officer Joseph Smith was suggested as a suspect back when he was implicated in the murder of 16-year-old Desiree Case, but the charges against him were ultimately dismissed.

Unfortunately, Jill-Lyn's mother tragically died in 2007 when she fell off a roof while at work. She died without ever getting answers about who was responsible for killing her child. The family held a candle light vigil annually from 2001 to 2007 to remember her and raise awareness, but the tradition died as few leads came in. Without any new information, Jill-Lyn's murder has become another cold case. Jill-Lyn would today be 38 years old.

The Search For Answers

Syracuse police detectives in the cold case unit continue to investigate the case more than 21 years later and know there is someone out there with the information that could make a difference and finally give Jill-Lyn's family the answers they so desperately need.

Residents who lived in The James Apartments in 2001 or who might have seen something in the area the day Euto was murdered should speak with the police. Anyone will information about the death of Jill-Lyn Euto should call the Cold Case Squad at 315-442-5234.