Mindy West was 31 years old when she was murdered. Her body was found tied to a tree in a wooded area in Manchester, New Hampshire, more than 20 years have passed, and the person responsible for her death has yet to be brought to justice.
After graduating from Londonderry High School with exceptional grades, West, of Londonderry, matriculated at the University of New Hampshire.
She dropped out of college during her freshman year when she became heavily involved with drugs, WMUR reported.
For well over 10 years, West struggled with her addiction, but in 1996, it took a turn for the worse when her mother died of cancer. She was unable to hold a steady job, and she had “two prostitution convictions,” court records showed.
She tried to get sober to get custody of her then-2-year-old daughter, but her father said the “state pushed over the edge when it took her to court,” and they wanted her to pay child support, according to The Boston Globe.
West told her father that it was “overwhelming. It’s too much; everything they expect of me.”
In spite of what she was going through, it was reported that West would contact her father every week. When those calls stopped, her family had an inkling that something was wrong.
On July 30, 1998, West was reported missing. She was supposedly last seen in the area of Concord Street with her boyfriend, but police officials stated that the witnesses who provided that information were involved in drugs, and they, therefore, weren’t credible.
Nearly three months later, on Oct. 4, 1998, Mindy West was found dead in a wooded area near a residential neighborhood, just off Huse Road. She had been tied to a “tree, with a rope around her neck,” police said.
An autopsy indicated that West’s cause of death was strangulation.
In 2005, Manchester Police Detective John Patti told WMUR that “the key to this whole case is that location where she was discovered. It doesn’t make any sense for her to be there.”
Investigators have received thousands of tips and have interviewed hundreds of people throughout the years, but they have yet to get a break in the case.
Anyone with information regarding the unsolved murder of Mindy West is encouraged to submit a tip online to the New Hampshire Department of Justice.