Bright crimson billboards, emblazoned with the face of Jody LeCornu and the plea “Find my killer,” are hard to miss for drivers traveling along several highways in the greater Baltimore region.
Here’s the story behind the striking advertisements:
Who was Jody LeCornu?
In 1996, Annapolis native Joann "Jody" LeCornu was a 23-year-old student at Towson State University, where she was finishing out her senior year studying geriatrics. She also worked as a receptionist at Eastern Savings Bank in Hunt Valley.
On the evening of March 2, 1996, LeCornu was found shot in the back near her car in a shopping center on York Road in Baltimore County.
Her death remains unsolved.
What do we know about the cold case?
On the night of her death, LeCornu was spending times with friends at the Mount Washington Tavern, where she was a regular, police say. When the bar closed, they say, she went to a liquor store on Falls Road to buy a six pack of beer.
Investigators say LeCornu was sitting in her white Honda Civic in the parking lot of what is now the Drumcastle Government Center in the 6300 block York Road when someone approached her car and shot her once in the back.
Police don't know why she went to the parking lot.
LeCornu was able to drive across the street to the Giant Food parking lot, where she was later found just before 4 a.m.
Witnesses told police that a man of stocky build and wearing a drab or green-colored army-style coat followed LeCornu’s car into the lot of the plaza and then removed an unknown item from inside her car.
The man then reportedly drove off in a white BMW, heading south on York Road, police said.
Why are there billboards all over town?
While more than 20 years have passed since LeCornu’s death, her family has never given up hope of solving her murder. For years, LeCornu’s father collected documents on the case, including newspaper articles, photos and notes from his meetings with detectives, until his death in 2007.
Every few years, LeCornu’s twin sister, Jennifer LeCornu Carrieri, tries to come up with creative ways to share her sister’s story. In 2016, Carrieri sat down with The Baltimore Sun to discuss the case in hopes of learning new information.
And in 2018, Carrieri placed the first of several billboards around the Baltimore area in hopes of renewing interest in the case.
“I feel like there’s people out there who know something,” Carrieri said at the time.
“I don’t want her to be forgotten,” she said.
Have the billboards helped the case?
So far, Carrieri’s first billboard, located closest to the spot where LeCornu died, generated some tips, she said last week.
However, Baltimore County police say the billboards have not led to any credible information about the case, spokesman Shawn Vinson said this month.
Still, both Carrieri and police remain hopeful someone with knowledge of the case will see the advertisement and bring new information to authorities.
Police ask that anyone with information about the case call the Baltimore County Police Department or submit an anonymous tip to Metro Crime Stoppers by calling 1-866-7LOCKUP.