Ohio AG seeks public’s help in 1977 Dayton homicide case involving college co-ed

DAYTON — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is asking for the public’s help 44 years after a college co-ed was killed while heading to her summer job at the Dayton Museum of Natural History.

Paula Payne was 21-years-old and home for the summer from college when she left her Manhattan Avenue home for her summer job in August 1977. She never arrived and was found dead, naked in a wooded area.

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For years, Dayton Police Det. Patty Tackett worked the case and ended her career this summer after working the last 16 years solving Dayton cold cases.

Tackett is confident that Payne’s homicide case will eventually be solved.

“Will we be able to someday, I do believe so,” Tackett told News Center 7 in August. “I think there will be a day that we can holler from the hillside and say we did it and that this person is going to have the consequences whatever they may be.”

Tackett said as she retired that she believes new technology and DNA evidence will help eventually solve the case.

Yost’s office is asking anyone with information on Payne’s killing to call Dayton Police at 937-333-7109 or by submitting an online tip.