Police Reveal 1988 Murder Victim's Last Words
'I can't believe he did this to me'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2015 5:20 PM CST

(Newser) – Police in Illinois hope new testing of DNA evidence can finally solve the 1988 murder of a 21-year-old University of Illinois student. In recapping the stabbing of Maria Caleel, the Chicago Tribune also reveals for the first time the veterinary student's last words to a police officer on the scene: "I can't believe he did this to me." While that might suggest Caleel knew her killer, police aren't ruling anything out. Detectives have been able to retest evidence from the scene to establish the DNA profile of an unknown male. They've also been collecting samples, sometimes secretly, from possible suspects and are now awaiting results from the state crime lab.

Among the facts of the case: Caleel suffered a single stab wound and managed to crawl through the apartment hall to her neighbors' place. She wasn't sexually assaulted or robbed, and there was no sign of a struggle in her apartment. Among the possible suspects: a fellow veterinary student who might have resented her and an unidentified male named in an anonymous letter sent to police four years ago. The lead detective will say only this of the DNA evidence that might crack the case: “It was in a place where we would have expected it to have been left by the suspect. That’s not to say it absolutely belongs to the suspect, but it sure could be.”