Yale University Student Stabbed 17 Times In ‘Heinous’ 1998 Unsolved Off-Campus Murder

“The investigation into the homicide of Suzanne Jovin is a very active case,” authorities say.

Suzanne Jovin, pictured here smiling, was found stabbed to death two miles away from the Yale campus on Dec. 4, 1998.

Yale student Suzanne Jovin was found stabbed to death two miles away from campus on Dec. 4, 1998. Her case remains unsolved.

Photo by: Connecticut State Division of Criminal Justice

Connecticut State Division of Criminal Justice

By: Aaron Rasmussen

A German woman in her senior year at Yale University in Connecticut was brutally attacked and died off campus, and her cold-blooded killer remains at large nearly a quarter century later.

On the evening of December 4, 1998, Suzanne Jovin borrowed a vehicle from her Ivy League school for a volunteer event. That evening, she returned the keys and ran into her friend, Peter Stein, around 9:25 p.m.

“She did not mention plans to go anywhere or do anything else afterward,” Stein told the Yale Daily News in 1999. “She just said that she was very, very tired and that she was looking forward to getting a lot of sleep.”

According to investigators, a passerby called 911 at 9:58 p.m. after finding 21-year-old Jovin stabbed 17 times in a patch of grass in an upscale New Haven neighborhood popular with Yale faculty that was two miles from campus.

Jovin was rushed to an area hospital, where she was pronounced dead shortly before 10:30 p.m.

A witness driving in the area where Jovin was stabbed later recalled seeing a blondish man dressed in a loose-fitting green jacket who appeared to be between 20 to 30 years of age and seemed like he was fleeing from something.

Two years later, detectives revealed witnesses also reported seeing a tan or brown van in the area around the time of the attack. Others in the neighborhood said they heard a fight between a man and woman around 9:45 p.m. and then screams, Vanity Fair reported.

Another key piece of evidence: Detectives recovered a male’s DNA from beneath Jovin’s fingernails.

Police initially zeroed in on a person of interest, Jovin’s thesis advisor and former Yale professor, James Van de Velde, and an arrest seemed imminent, according to WTNH.

Van de Velde, however, was later cleared and nobody has ever been arrested for the student’s murder.

“The investigation into the homicide of Suzanne Jovin is a very active case,” New Haven State’s Attorney Patrick Griffin told WTNH, noting investigators “are continually reviewing records, following up on new leads, and working with the state forensics laboratory to solve the case.”

“We are committed to providing justice for Suzanne’s family and making sure that whoever is responsible for this heinous crime does not escape accountability,” he added.

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