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May 1, 2014

Terre Haute investigators reopen 1980 slaying case

TERRE HAUTE (AP) — A 34-year-old cold case investigation has reopened in a 1980 Terre Haute homicide.

Gloria A. (Felix) Hedden was 29 when her body was pulled from the Wabash River on July 12, 1980.

The Vigo County Sheriff's Department is asking for the community's help in solving the case - now under investigation by a cold case team led by retired Vigo Sheriff Bill Harris.

At the time of her death, Hedden was married with two children and lived in the 2200 block of Crawford Street, Harris said. Hedden was studying for a degree in computer science from Indiana State University.

She had been born and raised in Chicago, and had come to the Wabash Valley in 1968 to complete a bachelor's degree at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Many of her husband's relatives lived in West Terre Haute.

"It's one of the older cases," Harris told the Tribune-Star Wednesday when talking about why this case was selected for the renewed investigation. "Many co-workers and co-students from that time are still alive, though we discovered one person is deceased. It's just a matter of getting in there and talking to witnesses and others before it's too late."

A review of the case file showed that Hedden had completed her work shift at the U.S. Postal Service annex on 13th Street near Lockport Road at about 7 a.m. on July 9, 1980, Harris said, noting that her co-workers were likely among the last people who saw her alive.

Because she was an ISU student at the time, she was often sent to finish her shift near campus at the main post office at Seventh and Cherry streets, he said, and she usually parked her car in a lot between Seventh and Eighth street along Cherry Street, where a parking garage is now located.

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