- Associated Press - Monday, March 24, 2014

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Bob Trendel keeps a scrapbook of newspaper and magazine articles that chronicle the crimes of his daughter’s murderer, the so-called I-70 serial killer.

The pages hold no stories of closure. None speak of arrests, court convictions or solid leads.

Trendel, 82, says he doesn’t expect Patricia Smith’s murderer to be found in his lifetime. He’s already waited nearly 22 years.

The case is among 140 unsolved Wichita homicides since 1985.

“Basically I’ve given up,” Trendel said. “It’s frustrating to know that after over 20 years, he’s still out there.”

Trendel’s daughter, 23-year-old Patricia Smith, was one of two women shot execution-style at La’ Bride d’Elegance, 4613 E. Kellogg, as they waited for a late-arriving customer on April 11, 1992. The other woman killed that Saturday was the shop’s owner, 32-year-old Patricia Magers, The Wichita Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/1lewF1d ).

Authorities quickly linked the slayings to four others that took place at Indiana and Missouri strip malls near Interstate 70 in 1992.

There are no suspects and little evidence to go on in Smith and Magers‘ killings, said Wichita policeLt. Todd Ojile, commander of the agency’s homicide section.

“The last fruitful leads would be around the time of the homicides - during the initial investigations of it,” he said.

Ojile said detectives from agencies investigating the I-70 killings met last October in Wichita to discuss the cases.

“There’s no real great theory out there, I can tell you that much,” he said.

Of nearly 800 homicides in Wichita over the past 25 years, about 1 in 6 remain unsolved. The victims range in age from 1 to 86, a list of local homicides compiled by The Eagle shows.

Among the youngest on the list are 3-year-old Khyree Frierson, who died after his home was firebombed in 1993, and Mario Hutton, killed by a bullet fired through a door in 1996. He also was 3.

The most recent is 47-year-old Damon Williams, who was shot in the torso and crashed his car on Oct. 29, 2013.

Ojile said most of the time, cases go cold because there’s insufficient evidence or few to no witnesses offering investigators leads on suspects.

Story Continues →