Case 79

Rayna Rison

*** Content Warning: child victim ***

16-year-old Rayna Rison was a devoted animal lover who dreamed of one day becoming a veterinarian. On March 26 1993, she arranged to meet her ex-boyfriend Matt Elser at the animal hospital where she worked part-time in the small Northern Indiana city of LaPorte. But when Matt arrived to pick Rayna up, the lights were off in the building and she was nowhere to be seen. 

After Rayna was reported missing, police found her car abandoned on the side of the road nine miles from the animal shelter. The hood was up, but the keys were in the ignition and the engine started with ease, indicating someone had staged the vehicle. As police followed a string of clues, the trail led them somewhere completely unexpected.



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Research & writing – Anna Priestland

Narration – Anonymous Host



‘Flatline intro’ and ‘Come play with me’ intro and outro –

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Scoring – Mike Migas and Andrew Joslyn



Logo and website design – Paulina Szymanska



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‘ Forget Me Not’: The Murder of Rayna Rison – The Unusual Suspects



Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds & Scandals – The Great Courses – by Professor Elizabeth A Murray (Mt. St. Joseph University)
Lecture 13: How reliable is Eyewitness Testimony?



Collection of articles – WSBT 22 Channel: 1993–2016

Collection of articles – The LaPorte County Herald-Argus Newspaper: 1993–2016

Book: Former janitor may be Rayna Rison’s killer – The Michigan City News-Dispatch

Who killed ‘Summerfield Jane Doe’? DNA may finally provide the answer – Belleville News-Democrat

Arrest made in 20-year-old murder of Indiana teen – Vent Wing

Details revealed in Tibbs case – The Michigan City News-Dispatch

Rayna Rison Cold Case Murder Solved, Ex-Boyfriend In Custody: Cops – Huffington Post

Jason Tibbs arrested in 1993 murder of NW Indiana teen, Rayna Rison – ABC7

Suspect in 1993 Rayna Rison slaying in court – WSBT

New evidence presented in Tibbs case – The LaPorte County Herald-Argus Newspaper

Attorney: Former suspect’s alibis were faulty – The LaPorte County Herald-Argus Newspaper

Testimony focuses on Tibbs’ whereabouts the night of Rison’s disappearance – The LaPorte County Herald-Argus Newspaper

COA: third-party perpetrator evidence not relevant – The Indiana Lawyer



Jason Tibbs v. State of Indiana

LaPorte County website

The Rayna Rison Memorial Scholarship
c/o Director of Music
602 F Street
La Porte, IN 46350

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