Investigators never obtained the evidence to charge either suspect.
“This case is almost four decades old, so, obviously the general consensus is that people don’t hold a lot of hope that he’s (Andy) alive,” Romero said in an interview last week.
“It’s a case that we look at from time to time. It’s a case we’d like to solve for the family’s sake as well as the city’s sake. We’d certainly like to be able to bring closure to this and find out what happened to Andy,” the chief said.
“This is a case that the city has talked about for almost 40 years. People want to know what happened. If we ever solve it, it will only be because somebody who knows something talks and information we developed from a tip. We have followed up on every lead that’s been made available to us over the years,” he said.
While the Lawrence police investigation into Andy Puglisi’s disappearance has been virtually dormant for several years, Romero hopes that the national coverage of the Cleveland case will generate new public interest locally.
“Certainly, it (the Cleveland case) can have a positive impact on our case,” Romero said.
“Everybody’s talking about what happened there. Locally, people will want to know what’s going on with our case. So, there’s always the possibility that somebody starts talking and it develops a good lead for us. There’s always hope. It’s also possible he could still be alive. We don’t know. Cold cases get solved in this country every day. We get tips on crimes that occurred decades ago,” he said.
When people stop talking about an unsolved, high profile missing child case, the chances of solving it grow slim, Romero acknowledged.