Unsolved murder in Quincy

It's something you would find on 48 Hours Mystery right here on CBS, a murder that's gone unsolved after 38 years.

Patty Ann Smith of Quincy was 9 years old when she went missing in 1970.

A viewer contacted us last week, telling us about a possible break in the case.

We checked into the case for some background, and headed to the police department for the facts.

Patty Ann Smith was last seen walking near 10th & 11th and Broadway. A lot has changed since then, but the mystery of her disappearance has remained the same. Her remains and clothing were found about a year later by some mushroom hunters off of Highway 57 south of Quincy near Bluffs Hall Church.

Rajah: "Where does the case stand now?"

"Right now, the case is idle. All the evidence is gone," QPD Detective John Summers said.

Summers, who started with the department in 1977, has checked with several agencies including the FBI in Washington, D.C. to find Patty's remains and clothing, but they're missing. A possible lead came from Patty's family members last summer. A family member gave the victim's father a barrett, that supposedly belonged to Patty. Police followed up on that tip, but it was fruitless.

"We did get a piece of possible evidence that's been sent to the crime lab to be checked for DNA, and unfortunately, there was none found on it," Summers said.

Summers says investigators focused on two sex offenders in years past, but those suspects were found to be innocent. The person who the investigation would focus on now died about 30 years ago.

Rajah: "What's the future hold for this case?"

"Well, I don't know if there is a future unfortunately. Everyone has their own beliefs about who did it, including myself," Summers said. "Unfortunately, there's nothing we can do to prove that that person is responsible at this point."

Summers says that fact is heartbreaking for Patty Ann's sake. Even though the evidence is long gone, Patty Ann's file remains at the Quincy Police Department unsolved, but a reminder of a gruesome murder that happened years ago in our own backyard.

Patty Ann would've been almost 47 years old today.

Her father still resides in the Tri-States.