HALIFAX, Pa. (WHTM) – Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo said he’s preparing to seek justice in the homicide of Tracy Kroh whether investigators find her body or not.
“There is no requirement that you have a body to prosecute a homicide,” Chardo told ABC27 in a one-on-one interview Thursday. “No-body prosecution strangely becomes easier because you can prove the death by the passage of time.”
But police have not given up their search. On Monday, they brought cadaver dogs to a 30-acre property off Middle Road in Halifax Township to search for Kroh’s remains. They searched the property once before in 2016 when a new tip changed the course of their investigation.
Police said a person of interest in the case had ties to the property in 1989. It’s a quarter-mile from the mobile home park where Kroh was last seen.
So why search now? What’s different in 2019?
Aside from new technology, Chardo said the time of year played a role in the decision.
“Springtime is when they tell us it’s ideal for searches for bodies,” Chardo said.
He added that police also had new information, but he could not get into details about that part of the investigation.
“Whenever you’ve got a case where to date you haven’t had a body, where a family doesn’t know what happened, doesn’t have a body to bury, doesn’t have closure, that really is disturbing for a family,” Chardo said.
Chardo said Kroh was a victim in the purest sense. He said she did nothing to put herself in harm’s way.
“She was a good girl and wasn’t involved in anything that could get her in trouble, and through no fault of her own became the victim of homicide,” he said.
Chardo said in Kroh’s case, they believe that beyond a doubt because no one has heard from her since she disappeared in August 1989. No one has used her social security number or applied for a credit card in her name.
Chardo said he’s been involved in this disappearance case for 20 years and believes police are closer now to solving it than at any other time during the investigation.
Since news of the search was reported by ABC27 on Monday, state police said they’ve received a “significant amount” of new information and tip calls.
But with that, rumors have also started to swirl on social media. That’s not helpful to police and it’s hurtful to Kroh’s family, Chardo said.
“When these rumors aren’t just whispers between people and they’re appearing on the internet, that can cause pain to people,” he said. “If somebody wants to be helpful, call the state police.”
The number for tips in the case is 717-645-3275.