TW: Contains mentions of suicide and murder
Earlier this week a new series of Unsolved Mysteries landed on Netflix. The first episode "Mystery at Mile Marker 45" investigates the case of Tiffany Valiante who died being hit by an oncoming train. Whilst her friends and family believe she was murdered, her death has officially been ruled a suicide by investigators.
Tiffany was an athlete who played softball and she was reportedly looking forward to attending college when she died in 2015 after leaving a graduation party. The Netflix show investigates her case in more detail, but a few key details were left out.
This is everything you need to know about the case of Tiffany Valiante.
What happened to Tiffany Valiante?
On 12th July 2015 18-year-old Tiffany and her parents attended a graduation party in their hometown of Mays Landing, New Jersey.
At around 9pm one of Tiffany's friend spoke to her parents and claimed Tiffany was using her debit card. The conversation was said to have lasted less than 10 minutes and Tiffany denied using her friend's card. They went out to Tiffany's car to search it and as they were looking Tiffany's mum Dianne, saw Tiffany slip the debit card in her backpocket.
Dianne went back inside to find her husband, but when they returned outside Tiffany was nowhere to be seen.
When she didn't return a few hours later, they began calling her, only to find her phone was at the bottom of the driveway.
At 11:30pm they called the police but 27 minutes earlier Tiffany had been killed by an oncoming transit train.
What are the theories behind Tiffany's death?
The day after she died Tiffany's death was registered as suicide. However her parents don't believe she died by suicide as they thought she seemed happy.
In Unsolved Mysteries they said: "I was devastated. I couldn't understand how they could come up with that. My daughter wasn't depressed. She wasn't suicidal. Tiffany was happy!
"She was making plans to go to college, she was making plans with her roommate, she was making plans to play softball that Wednesday. She had plans to go to Great Adventure the next morning with friends."
Her family didn't believe the ruling and a number of clues led them to believe she had been murdered. When Tiffany's parents last saw her she was fully clothed, however when she was found she was barefoot and wearing just her underwear. Two weeks after her death Dianne found Tiffany's missing trainers and headband in a neat pile, more than a mile away from the tracks she died on.
One of the investigators in Unsolved Mysteries shared a theory based on the last image of Tiffany which shows her fully dressed and car headlights in the corner of the image.
They theorised Tiffany got into the car with either someone she knew, or went voluntarily and then threw her phone away before being murdered.
Another one of the private investigator's theories is that Tiffany was murdered before being placed on the train tracks as there was a large amount of blood at the spot Tiffany was hit by the train which would be consistent with the body being left there.
What does Unsolved Mysteries leave out about her death?
Despite a thorough investigation into the case there are certain details Unsolved Mysteries leaves out about Tiffany Valiante's case.
One of the biggest things they missed out is that police lost a potential murder weapon. According to NJ.com an axe with "red markings" was found near the site where Tiffany's body was found. Tiffany's family were hoping forensic analysis would lead them to more answers about her death but the axe went missing in storage before it could be tested.
In Unsolved Mysteries we learn Tiffany may have stolen her friend's debit card. However, they left out a discovery by the Daily Beast that Tiffany had stolen money from her parent's bank account a few months prior to her death.
The final piece of information which was left out of the Netflix documentary was a dog and handler from the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office was sent to see if they could follow up any clues.
The test happened four days after Tiffany's death and resulted in the dog leading his handler along a 3.2 mile route which led him to the general area of Tiffany's death. It is presumed this was left out of the Netflix documentary because many investigators consider K9 units unreliable.
Unsolved Mysteries is available on Netflix now.
You Might Also Like