Mystery in the Mountains: The murder of Dawn Svocak

Mystery in the Mountains

On September 21, 1984, two farmers were cutting down crops in Beekmantown, a few miles outside of the City of Plattsburgh, when they found the decomposed body of a missing SUNY Plattsburgh student.

The victim, Dawn Svocak, was identified by dental records. An autopsy determined she died from blunt force trauma.

Svocak was reported missing to the City of Plattsburgh Police Department more than a year earlier, on August 17, 1984. She had failed to return to her Clinton Street apartment after a night out in downtown Plattsburgh. She was was last seen in the early hours of the morning after leaving Blair’s Bar on Marion Street, a popular place with the local LGBTQ community.

Police said Svocak was last seen wearing a long sleeve black shirt, Calvin Klein Jeans and red high healed boots.

“The missing persons case was an active investigation for some time,” said Plattsburgh City Police Detective, Jarrod Trombley. “Several weeks and months of conversations occurred, and it wasn’t until September of the same year that her remains were found outside of the City of Plattsburgh, which sparked the request for assistance from the state police.”

Just days after the missing persons report was filed a few items were located nearby where she was last seen. “More specifically a boot that was believed to be hers and later identified confirming that it was her’s,” Trombley said.

Police say they believe the items were planted. They also found a knife and a part of a belt.

Investigators continue to look for answers or leads that could help solve the case, said Jennifer Fleishman, Troop B New York State Police public information officer.

“We really want to bring closure to the family,” Fleishman said. “Ultimately she was somebody’s sister, niece, daughter, and I think bringing closure to the family would be huge.”

If you have any information regarding the case please contact the City of Plattsburgh Police Department and or the New York State Police.

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