CRIMESTOPPERS looking for new leads in murder of EMU student

YPSILANTI, Mich. (WXYZ) - It's been nearly a year since Eastern Michigan University student Julia Niswender was found dead in her off-campus apartment.

Police are now asking for your help, because they still don't have anyone in custody for Julia's death.

"I cry on my way to work.  I cry on my way home and I cry at night… but then there's that part of me, like Julia's there lifting me up saying you got this mom… but it's that fight to find justice for Julia," said Julia's mother Kim Turnquist at a press conference at Crime Stoppers headquarters.

According to Turnquist, the 23-year-old was in her junior year and aspired to be a tv news reporter and producer.

Loved ones at the press conference said Julia's murder has torn their family apart.

"She was my best friend," said Julia's twin sister Jennifer Niswender.  "She was a part of me, my other half.  We had a bond not even sisters could share."

"I miss those times that I had with her and I wish I could still have those but no she's not here because someone had to take her," said Julia's 10-year-old sister Madison Turnquist.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for any new information leading to an arrest.

In addition, another $1,000 will be offered if an arrest is made by midnight Thursday.

Julia was last seen leaving her job on December 9 of last year.

But two days later, Julia's body was found in the bathtub at her Peninsular Place apartment in Ypsilanti.

Investigators later determined the cause of her death was asphyxiation associated with drowning.

Julia's family believes there is someone out there who knows something.  They are holding out hope for even the smallest clues.

They are urging Julia's killer to step forward to police and addressed that person to 7 Action News cameras.

"I sorry you did not have the open mind to see who my daughter truly was," said Julia's father Jim Turnquist.  "Maybe one day you will and maybe one day you will come across a person like her.  Maybe you will have a better understanding as to the effects that you have on an entire family."

If you have any information about this case, you can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (1-800) SPEAK-UP.

A family friend is offering an additional $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

Crime Stoppers has issued this statement:

"You will not be at risk.  Crime Stoppers is an anonymous program, therefore you will be totally safe.  The reality is this – your identity is held from Crime Stoppers and the police.  There will never be any need for you to testify in court – because no one will know who you are.

At Crime Stoppers, our main goal is to protect the anonymity of the people who are willing to help us, help the city and the community.  It is important that people understand that there are no Caller ID phones at Crime Stoppers.  Your calls will go to a call center in Canada.  Calls are not handled locally in the United States.  And calls are never recorded.  Callers are never asked for their name, their phone number – or any kind of identifying information.

We cannot bring a murdered family member home.  Help us bring justice to a community and closure to the family.  Help us create safe neighborhoods, where children can play outside and walk to school without fear, where neighbors talk with each other instead of closing their doors and hiding inside – where a community, together, can rise up and speak up to put and end to violence."

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