44-year-old cold case still unsolved

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SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Police in Dauphin County are asking for your help in solving a cold case that happened 44 years ago this week. An 84-year-old woman was murdered inside her home in Susquehanna Township. To this day, no one knows who did it.

Like most cold cases, investigators' number one road block is time. Police are desperate to bring closure to Lydia Hemperly's family, saying now its personal.

Susquehanna Township Deputy Chief Jeffrey Vargo has been working on Lydia Hemperly's case since 2009, making it the longest in his career.

"We know that there is somebody out there that knows something," Vargo said. "We know that there is somebody out there that was either a witness, or a potential witness. People talk."

Hemperly was found bound, gagged, and left to die on October 22nd, 1974. Since she was born in the 1800's, finding any information about her personal life has been more than challenging. Investigators learned Hemperly lived alone at a home on Mountainview Road. Police have aerial shots of her house from back in the 70's before route 322 was built.

People who knew her say she was a sweet person and a great neighbor. She loved to grab a drink at the Harrisburg VFW Auxillary and hang out with friends. Police said they have a gut feeling somebody alive today knows something.

"We all have a Lydia in our life," Vargo said. "Lydia was somebody's mother, Lydia was somebody's aunt, her friend, her neighbor. And I just feel that we as a department owe it to all of them to be her voice. Lydia wants somebody held accountable for this, for what they did, for what they took away from her, for what they took away from her family. And that's what our role is."

Hemperly is buried at the Hill Lutheran Church in Cleona, Lebanon County. If you knew Lydia or have any information, even if you feel it's insignificant, contact Captain Jeffrey Vargo with the Susquehanna Township Police at 717-909-9260 or jvargo@susquehannatwp.com.

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