A family is seeking answers in a several decades old murder in Monroe County.
A taxi driver was found dead in his vehicle in Barrett Township 51 years ago this month.
Police say they are once again looking for who committed the crime but the family thinks more should be done to find the killer.
It happened at the former Buck Hill Falls Hotel, which has since been demolished after falling into disrepair. Police tell us like the scene now, there isn’t anything left to go on except someone coming forward. But the family believes otherwise.
Victim's Daughter Lori Leonard says, "The stories have changed over the years, it depends who you talk to. There’s a clue, there’s DNA, there isn’t and it’s like stop giving us the run around."
Twins Lori Leonard and Debbie Leonard Mertz want to have their father’s murder nationally recognized and reworked so that people across the United States can help them solve it. They were only 13-years-old and two of five children at the time when their Dad John Leonard Sr. of Cresco was killed on September 8th 1970 and they feel it never received a proper investigation.
Debbie says, "It’s really hard to say what life would’ve been like had this not happen. Having those clues, having answers would really help us to put it in the past and move forward."
It happened around two-thirty at the former Buck Hill Falls Hotel in Barrett Township. John was the taxicab driver of a black 1966 Plymouth Sedan for Mick’s Taxi Service. He was called to the hotel where a white man with dark hair and approximately 30 t0 40 years old approached the vehicle. Leonard was later found in the sedan with multiple gunshot wounds.
Craig VanLouvender, who was previously assigned to the victim's case as a State Police Officer says, "There’s nothing new as far as evidence or new technology because back then, 1970, DNA, you’re 35 years before people are really thinking about it a lot and there was nothing there at the scene, it was pretty self-contained scene as far as being in the cab and there was no real physical evidence recovered at the scene that could point us somewhere. A lot of cases today you see solved by genealogy and DNA and we don’t have anything in this case to work off."
Then in 1973 their mom, Madeleine Leonard told them that she was going to check on a lead in her husband’s death. Madeleine was found dead in her car the next day. Police say she crashed her car along Route 940 in Paradise Township and it was ruled an accident. The twins believe she was intentionally killed.
Lori says, "Police Chief of Mount Pocono Robert Hartman came to our house, he was a friend of our Dad’s and he told us he thought our mom was murdered as well and he said the cases are linked."
The children were all under 18 when they lost both of their parents leaving them orphaned. Over the past recent years their three brothers passed away without ever knowing what happened to their parents and the twins don’t want the same fate.
Debbie says, "It’s a sorrow and pain that we have to live with daily and it tears deeply within our hearts."
Lori says, "We’re kind of frustrated because our Dad was a World War II Vet, he was a POW for 22 months, he served this country and his memory shouldn’t be forgotten."
If anyone has information on the decades old crime that happened here, you’re asked to contact State Police at Stroudsburg or you can contact News13 to reach the family.