Vigil held for Nikki Benedict; Poway teen's 1967 murder remains - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Vigil held for Nikki Benedict; Poway teen's 1967 murder remains unsolved

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POWAY, Calif. (CBS 8) -- Family and friends gathered in Poway Thursday night to honor a teenage girl murdered in 1967.

"Those of you who remember her know that she was sweet and kind," said Gail Higgins.

She was Nikki Benedict's childhood friend who put on a birthday party for the teen who was murdered at age14.

The teen was stabbed to death as she walked home from a friend's house. Her killer was never arrested. Thursday would have been her 61st birthday.

Friends, family and old classmates attended the vigil in hopes of bringing renewed attention that could lead to a break in the cold-case homicide.

"If this will stimulate enough interest so that it will stir up people's memories even if it is the smallest thing, the smallest memory that people thought wasn't important gets brought forth," said Marianna Benedict-Bacilla.

She was Nikki's younger sister. There were six daughters, Nikki was the second oldest.

On May 1, 1967 an 11-year-old boy found Nikki bleeding from two chest wounds in a field near Poway Road and Carriage Road. The boy, Ronald Fisk, ran to his father's nearby market to call authorities.

Nikki was rushed to Palomar Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Investigators discovered evidence of a struggle a short distance away from where she was found but never determined a motive and could not identify any suspects. The girl was not sexually assaulted, according to reports at the time.

The day after the murder, the victim's mother, Julie Benedict, spoke about her daughter to CBS News 8's Harold Keen.

"We went out to the driveway and our neighbor was leaving also and we had asked if he heard if Nikki had received a telephone message and he said, 'no but I'm going out to help search down by the water sanitary district but because somebody had stabbed a girl,'" said Benedict.

The entire 1967 interview is included as bonus video on this web page.

In 2012, San Diego County Sheriff's detectives posted a Crime Stoppers bulletin seeking the public's help in this cold case.

There are conflicting stories if investigators found the murder knife. Her sister, Marianna says about two years ago detectives took DNA from family members but says there wasn't enough to test but hopes with future technology there will be answers.

San Diego County Crimestoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the killer. One of Nikki's friends has added an additional $5,000 in reward money.

If you have any information, you can contact the San Diego Sheriff's Department or Crimestoppers at (888) 580-8477. You do not have to give your name to receive reward money.

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