Investigators want to solve 51-year-old murder of teenage girl

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POWAY, Calif. -- Tuesday,  51 years to the day after 14-year-old Nikki Benedict was stabbed to death, her sister and sheriff's investigators asked for the public's help in solving her murder.

On May 1, 1967, the lifeless body of Benedict was found in the 12700 block of Poway Road, which was still unpaved at the time.  Five decades later, there are still no leads and no suspects.

"Am I hoping for a miracle? No Would I like to see one? Absolutely,” said the victim's sister, Marianna Bacilla.  "I wonder if that person is still alive. Nikki would have been 64."

According to investigators, the 14-year-old was stabbed in the neck and chest while walking home from a friend's house. She was found by an 11-year-old boy.

Detectives say there was evidence of a struggle near the location where the body was found.  The coroner’s report showed that she was not raped. At the time, witnesses reported a 6-foot-tall white man running from the area but nothing more.

"Imagine spending your lifetime dealing with this kind of violent murder that makes no sense. There’s no motive. Imagine living your life like that? You would want to know,” Bacilla said. "It tore our family apart."

Detectives re-opened the case in the 1990's and ran DNA tests that were inconclusive.

Anyone with information on the identity and or location of the person/persons responsible for this crime is asked to call Sheriff’s Homicide Unit at 858-974-2321 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 888-580-8477. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone with information that leads to an arrest in this case. Information on how to send anonymous emails and mobile app tips can be found at the Crime Stoppers website.

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