Although it’s been 40 years since the body of a young girl was found strangled in a cornfield off of Sylvan Dell Road, the murder has lingered as a serious debate.
But a local investigator’s recent book claims DNA evidence ends the decades-long struggle for truth.
“Unsolved No More: A Cold Case Detective’s Fight for Justice” by Kenneth L. Mains came out this year.
Mains has served the county’s District Attorney’s office as a detective and supervisor of the Narcotics Enforcement Unit.
The book explains the basics of how to investigate often stagnant cold cases and goes through six he’s investigated.
The South Williamsport slaying of Jennifer Hill is the most explosive locally.
Hill was 12 years old, out playing with a friend and other neighborhood kids on Oct. 19, 1973.
Her parents called the Hubbard home sometime in the afternoon, asking the girl to return home. She never got there.
Nearly an hour later, Hill’s father called again, speaking to her friend’s older brother, Kim Hubbard, who said she’d left about an hour earlier.
Panic slowly turned into fear when hours turned into days and “Jennie” still hadn’t been found. Nine days after Hill’s disappearance, a search party found her body in a cornfield near Sylvan Dell Road.
Hubbard became a suspect after he wasn’t able to provide an alibi and was arrested on Nov. 16, 1973.
After a jury convicted him of second-degree murder, Hubbard spent 10 years in state prison.
Murder in the second degree is criminal homicide that is either not premeditated or was caused by dangerous conduct and lack of concern for human life, according to Title 18 of the state’s General Assembly.
Put on the case
Decades after Hubbard completed his prison sentence, Mains was the only cold case detective in the Lycoming County District Attorney’s Office when the office received a letter from Hubbard outlining his claim of innocence. Mains was put on the case on Oct. 22, 2013.
On Nov. 1, 2013,…