Investigators pull on Topix threads for information in 20-year-old murder case

Investigators are taking their search for Yolanda Bindics’ killer to the internet.

Late Tuesday, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office Unsolved Crimes Unit issued a call for several posters on the former topix.com and topix2.com websites to speak with investigators. The Topix sites were early news aggregators with discussion forums. The sites were eventually shut down in 2018.

“During the period from 2005-2009 a website named Topix.com and Topix2.com was publishing,” a Facebook post from Unsolved Chautauqua states. “Some of the public comments from that time have been corroborated recently.”

Investigators are looking to speak with topix users “Judge It,” “Knowledge is Power,” “Sam the Sham,” “Don” and/or “Larry” from Fredonia, “Point,” and “AOL.” The users are asked to email unsolvedchautauqua@sheriff.us. Information will be kept confidential.

Bindics was last seen the night of Aug. 10, 2004, and her disappearance sparked numerous searches. Those efforts provided few answers to the family of the 25-year-old woman until remains were found in September 2006 by hunters in a heavily wooded area in the town of Charlotte. Dental records ultimately confirmed the remains were those of the missing Jamestown woman.

The case had been largely dormant until 2022, when the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office through its Unsolved Crimes Unit issued a call for new information on the Bindics case. Investigators noted that Bindics said she had good news to share the day she was last seen. In its news release, the unit said “new leads have been generated and new forensic technology is being utilized to analyze evidence which was not possible in the past. Witnesses were re-interviewed providing new information. New databases not previously available have generated new data on suspects.”

Members of Bindics’ family were at last week’s announcement of federal funding for the Unsolved Crime Unit’s Abducted, Missing, Murdered, and Unidentified Women’s Initiative. The program will receive $100,000 as part of recently approved federal spending bills.

“The time for bringing peace to Yoland’s family is near,” the unit said in 2022. “The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office Unsolved Crimes Unit needs your help to close the door on this case and arrest the individual(s) who murdered Yolanda. … Close the door on Yoland’s murder now.”


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