Montgomery County prosecutors renew plea for clues in teen’s cold-case murder

Courtesy of Montco DA's office

It was a cold night 23 years ago when a teenage girl called her parents from theLansdaletrain station, askingfor a ride home.

But when 18-year-old Julie Barnyock’s father arrived at the station shortly after her 11:40 p.m. call on Nov. 8, 1993, he couldn’t find her.

Joseph and Gloria Barnyock never saw their daughter again.

Three weeks later, a homeless man found Barnyock’s decomposing body in a nearby train yard. Her face was reportedly unrecognizable from being bludgeoned, and she was naked below the waist. The cause of death was a blunt-force head injury.

After more than two decades, detectives are still seeking justice.

“There is no such thing as a cold case in Montgomery County,” District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a renewed call for information to help solve the case, released on the 23rd anniversary of the discovery of Barnyock’s body.

A $10,000 reward is still available for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Barnyock’s killer.

“We continue to work with Lansdale Police in following up on several leads we received this year,” Steele said. “We’ve interviewed hundreds of people about Julie’s murder since it happened, and we’ve re-interviewed many in the past several years. We want to find her murderer and bring justice to this family that has been grieving for 23 years now with no closure.”

In the years since Barnyock’s death, numerous theories have been floated about how she wound up dead. Witnesses said they saw her speaking with a man at the train station before she disappeared.

But as three November weeks elapsed between Barnyock’s disappearance and the discovery of her body, physical evidence was reportedly hard to find at the crime scene.

The Morning Call reported that investigators originally had two suspects: a homeless man who knew Barnyock from her frequent visits to South Street, and a man who was convicted of attacking two women at train stations, including one attack at Lansdale Station.

The newspaper also reported on suspicions swirling around Arthur Bomar, who was convicted of murdering another young woman outside Philadelphia. He had worked at Doylestown Hospital as an orderly when Barnyock was a patient there, but was never linked to her death.

According to the Inquirer, Barnyock, of New Britain, had graduated from Central Bucks High School that June. She was just coming back from a day spent with friends on South Street in Philadelphia.

Her mother told the Inquirer that her daughter “was too trusting” and befriended “street people and squatters.”

Tipsters: call Montgomery County detectives at 610-278-3368 or Lansdale police at 610-270-0977.

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