Police have received a “very strong viable lead” in a 1992 case where an 11-year-old babysitter was raped and murdered at a Waukegan home, a new report says.
Holly Staker, 11, was raped and stabbed to death at a home on Hickory Street in Waukegan on August 17, 1992.
Staker was babysitting a five-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl at the time when the homeowner found Staker’s body, court documents show.
Juan Rivera, who was a 19-year-old special education student at the time, was wrongfully convicted three times, according to The National Registry of Exonerations.
The Illinois Appellate Court overturned Rivera’s conviction in December 2011 and all charges against him were dropped.
He later received $20 million in a lawsuit.
Waukegan Police Chief Keith Zupec told Fox 32 Chicago earlier this week that investigators have received a “very strong viable lead.”
He called the lead “a little more complicated” than other tips his department receives several times a year.
In 2014, investigators found that DNA in a 2000 North Chicago murder matched DNA in Staker’s murder, but police do not know whose DNA it is, Fox 32 Chicago reported.
“We’re going to do everything we can. Just because this case is 30 years old does not mean that it’s not a case we intend to resolve,” Zupec said.
Anyone with information on the case should contact the Waukegan Police Department’s tip line at 847-360-9001.