Candlelight vigil honors Brandie Peltz 27 years after unsolved murder

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Plymouth, Ind. Michiana is still praying for justice 27 years after an 11-year-old girl was murdered.

On Dec. 11, 1986, Brandie Peltz stayed home sick from school. She was found strangled in her bathtub, and her farmhouse was set on fire to cover the crime.

The murder case changed small-town Argos forever.

Author Thomas Crowell wrote a book about the crime called A Passerby. His research pointed the finger at the passerby who reported the crime. No arrest was ever made, but Crowell was credited for giving the cold case a new look.

In 2009, Indiana State Police Detective Thomas Littlefield began pouring over the evidence once again.

At the time, he hoped new information and witnesses would come forward and bring justice for Brandie's murder—and he says that's still what they need.

“What kind of information do you need to get justice for Brandie?” he asked. “Cooperation, by that, I mean unsensational, truthful accounts of what's happened, involving the day of what happened December 11.”

On Wednesday night, a group gathered to remember Brandie during a candlelight vigil in front of the Marshall County Courthouse.

None of them knew the girl, but say they've heard her story told in the community over the years.

"We're celebrating Christmas soon and, here's this family that hasn't celebrated with their loved one in 27 years," said Joey Garcia, who wrote a song for the vigil. "So, it's just hard for everybody it seems like."

Several people in the small town have their own theories about what happened the day of Brandie's death. Anyone with information is should call Indiana State Police at 1-800-552-2959. Police say even details from Dec. 11, 1986 that seem insignificant could help solve the crime.

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