Suspect Identified In Killing Of College Student 45 Years After Her Death

Tammy Sue Aldridge was reported missing June 30, 1979. Days later, her body was discovered on a highway in Graham, North Carolina.

Authorities in North Carolina say that they’ve solved the cold case of an East Carolina University student who was kidnapped and killed nearly 45 years ago.

At a press conference Thursday, the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office named Gary Lane Laframboise as the individual responsible for the 1979 death of Tammy Sue Aldridge. Laframboise died in 2020.

Authorities said that Aldridge had been reported missing June 30, 1979, when the 20-year-old did not return home from a jog. Three days after her disappearance, her body was discovered in the middle of a highway in Graham, North Carolina. Her ankles were tied with rope, and investigators found evidence that her neck and hands had also been bound.

An image of Tammy Sue Aldridge, via the Alamance County Sheriff's Office.
An image of Tammy Sue Aldridge, via the Alamance County Sheriff's Office.
Alamance County Sheriff's Office

At the press conference, Sheriff Terry Johnson said that her body was still warm at the time of discovery. Her clothes were put on backward, which indicated that the victim was dressed after her death, Johnson said.

He added that Aldridge was sexually assaulted while alive, and medical examiners ruled that she died from strangulation.

During her captivity, Aldridge had been allowed to call home twice. Those were the last times her family would hear from her.

Aldridge called “to let her family know she was was OK and that she would hopefully be coming home,” investigator Dan Denton said.

The identification of Laframboise comes after a different man was charged in connection with Aldridge’s disappearance and was found not guilty, leaving the case unsolved.

When it was reopened in 2020, detectives obtained a DNA sample from the family member of a person of interest, and this led investigators to name Laframboise as their suspect, Johnson said.

Laframboise would have been 19 or 20 at the time of the killing, and lived about 4 1/2 miles from where Aldridge’s body was discovered.

According to Johnson, Laframboise was arrested in an unrelated kidnapping just three months after Aldridge disappeared. He pleaded guilty in that case and served prison time from 1980 to 1982.

Aldridge’s family members are glad that the case is closed but still have questions, according to local CBS affiliate WFMY. They described her as a straight-A student who “wanted to work with old people.”

Popular in the Community


What's Hot