Morgan Violi, 7, was abducted and murdered 17 years ago. She was from Kentucky, but her body was found in a ditch in Robertson County, Tenn.
The lead FBI agent on the case, Special Agent Richard Glenn, said Violi was outside her apartment in Bowling Green on July 24, 1996 when she was abducted.
Violi was playing with some children in a playhouse when she and her five-year-old friend walked back home. At that time, a man pulled up next to them in a maroon van, grabbed Violi and fled.
A neighbor who witnessed the abduction was able to get a good look at the man and helped investigators create a composite sketch.
Two days later, the maroon van was found abandoned at a truck stop off of Interstate 65 in Franklin, Tenn. Authorities learned the van had been stolen from Dayton, Ohio one day earlier.
Special Agent Glenn said evidence was found inside the van, but he wouldn't go into detail.
Three months went by with no sign of Violi.
However, in October, a woman spotted skeletal remains in a ditch in Robertson County. Testing proved they belonged to the young girl.
Robertson County Sheriff Bill Holt said very little of her remains were recovered.
He said after the discovery, a witness remembered seeing a different van, a white Ford, parked for around four hours where Violi was found.
Ironically, it happened to be one day after she was abducted.
Special Agent Glenn said it's unknown if the white van is related to Violi's abduction, but they would like to identify it and its occupants.
Over the years, he said they've had several persons of interest, some who were ruled out and some who are still being considered.
The abductor at the time was described as a man in his 20s with a sharp nose, sandy brown hair, and some facial hair. Today, he would be in his late 30s or 40s.
Special Agent Glenn stated it could have been someone she knew or a total stranger.
He said he continues to follow child abduction cases across the country for any possible connections.
Two months ago, Glenn spoke with a detective who has a man in custody on a similar but different case. He said the case has aspects to it that are "promising and warrant further review."
News 2 will continue checking on this case for updates.
If you have any information on this case, email Special Agent Glenn at Richard.Glenn@ic.fbi.gov or call (270) 781-4734.
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