New hope for Lexington cold case

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Five years ago, NEWSFIRST brought you the story of an 18-year old woman whose body was found on North Cleveland Road in Lexington. Now police hope new clues in the case can help them find her killer.

At first, authorities had no idea who the woman was. A tattoo of the name "Jaden" helped identify her as 18-year old Misty Gwinner from northern Kentucky, but no one has been arrested in her murder.

Gwinner seemed to be turning a corner and putting a dark history with crack cocaine and prostitution behind her, but all that ended when she walked away from rehab back to a life of drugs. Her sister, Tasha Vanover, remembers the last time she saw Gwinner, just weeks before she was killed. "Words can't even describe the loss and how I miss, and just... one more time, one more day," Vanover said, "I don't feel like I said I loved you enough. How do I know? Just to do it over again."

Many people reported seeing Gwinner the night she died: at a truck stop in Florence, at a bar in Over-The-Rhine, and on the streets in search of drugs.

Police believe the killer drove all the way from Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky to dump the body in Lexington, but what they don't know is why. "There was ample opportunity to treat Misty the way they treated her and leave her in the Ohio River, any exit between Cincinnati and here," Lexington Police Detective Chris Schoonover said.

Detectives say they continue to receive information on the case, a call from an Ohio jail, and promising new results from evidence the killer left behind. "We don't think anyone deserves the kind of treatment that Misty received, and she's a victim, and we don't give up on those cases as long as we keep receiving information," Schoonover said.

Investigators don't want to tip their hand as to what exactly the new forensic information is, but they hope it will lead to a break in the case that could bring some sense of peace to Gwinner's loved ones. "What I wouldn't do to have you come home to a place where you're loved, take a warm shower, to be fed, to be with people that love you, not people that just want to hurt you and take from you," Vanover said.

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