Who killed Kentucky woman found in state park in 1990?

Who killed Kentucky woman found in state park in 1990?

Posted:
Jennifer Bailey (source: family) Jennifer Bailey (source: family)

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

PINE MOUNTAIN (WATE) – In August 1990, Jennifer Bailey, 21, went out for a run at Pine Mountain State Park in Bell County. That was the last time she was seen alive.

State police believe Jennifer was murdered, but her killer has never been found.

Her mother, Janice, says she was an athlete. Jennifer was running on a track at the state park when police believe she was abducted by a man in a black truck.

Ten days later, some campers spotted her body in the woods. Her grave is in the back yard of her mother's home. She was buried just days before her 22nd birthday.

"She was very outgoing. Everyone loved her," Janice Bailey said.

Jennifer was the manager of the shoe department at the local Walmart and was quite well known in the area.

She was also an athlete training for an upcoming competition and often ran at Pine Mountain State Park.

"The area was all grown up, and it wasn't cleared out as it is today," said Kentucky State Police Detective Bryan Johnson as he showed us the once-wooded area where Jennifer was last seen.

Back then the park was more desolate. Bailey was last seen talking to the only known suspect, the man in the black pickup truck.

"As you can see, the parking lot of the track is next to the highway. We received a call from many people who identified a black truck in the parking lot, along with the car that Jennifer was driving. We got statements from them that it looked like they were in some kind of argument," Detective Johnson said.

Jennifer's mother says she instinctively knew the moment something happened to her daughter.

"I don't know if you can believe this or not, but it was like a sledge hammer hit me in the chest. I started screaming," Janice Bailey said.

When Jennifer never returned home, an extensive search began.

The area where her body was found was a section of the state park not far from where she disappeared. Because of the decomposition, state police aren't 100% sure about an exact cause of death.

The last 21 years have been tough on the family. "I ran after black trucks looking for tag numbers for years. Now I don't do that as much. I'm just thankful to get a story like this every now and then," her mother said.

Jennifer's father died of cancer three years ago, agonized by not knowing what happened to her or who did it.

"He just smiled and said 'I'm going to Jesus and Jennifer' that morning he died, that Saturday morning. What a beautiful reunion it must have been," Janice Bailey said.

If you have any information in this case, call Kentucky State Police at 606-573-3131.

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