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Nanuet Mother Hopes For Justice 40 Years After Teenage Daughter's Murder

NANUET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A Rockland County mother still maintains faith her daughter's killer will someday be brought to justice – four decades after the crime.

Lisa Thomas was 15 years old when she was beaten to death as she walked to a mall in Nanuet. And 40 years later, the cold case is finally getting another look.

As CBS 2's Emily Smith reported, it was Oct. 7, 1974, when Barbara Thomas lost her daughter. Standing in what was once Lisa's bedroom, 40 years almost seems like one day.

Nanuet Mother Hopes For Justice 40 Years After Teenage Daughter's Murder

Lisa Thomas would now be 55 years old.

"Fifty-five years, and that's enough for anybody to have to go through this," Barbara Thomas said.

Barbara Thomas' husband found their daughter's body in a wooded area behind their Nanuet home - beaten to death with a blunt object. The Thomases had last seen Lisa as she was heading out the back door through the woods, taking a popular short cut to the mall.

"I chose to stay home and iron some curtains, and I always feel bad about that," Barbara Thomas said.

The Thomases' home had been burglarized two weeks prior to Lisa's death. They believe a group of teenagers did it - a crew also known for hanging out in the wooded area behind their home.

Barbara Thomas said her daughter approached the teens about it, and was murdered weeks later.

No one has ever been arrested or charged in Lisa Thomas' death. While detectives reactivated the case about four years ago, nothing has changed.

Neighbors have even gone to the police station asking for help.

"Because it wasn't assigned, they can't work it full time is what he said to me," one neighbor said. "They're doing it in their spare time."

And it is not only the 40th anniversary of the murder chipping away at Barbara Thomas. It is knowing DNA, statements and evidence remain on file in the Clarkstown Police Department.

"I walk around in a maze, that's what I do – and I never find my way out. And it is a maze with all the stories that's told to me," Barbara Thomas said.

Barbara Thomas has been experiencing major health problems lately, and she has a life wish to know exactly what happened and see justice served in a death that shook Nanuet.

The family has put in an official request with the Clarkstown Police Department to reassign the case, and also bring in a nonprofit group of detectives that is looking to help.

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