The Jamestown Chief of Police says investigators know who killed Yolanda Bindics, a 25-year-old mother of four who disappeared five years ago and was later found murdered.
The bad news -- The chief says they're not absolutely certain they have enough evidence to convict the killer.
Bindics vanished the night of August 10, 2004 after she left work at the Jamestown Family Dollar. Two years later, hunters found her remains in a wooded area near the town of Charlotte, Chautauqua County. Police had hoped forensic testing would lead them to her killer.
But almost exactly five years after she died, her mother, Patricia Bindics sits at a living room shrine dedicated to her daughter, and wonders why the case was never fully solved.
"Well, I've been through a terrible grieving process," Patricia Bindics said. "I realize that my daughter was... robbed of practically her life. She was a very young girl."
After her disappearance, Jamestown Police say they interviewed several men who were close to Yolanda, including then-city police officer Michael Watson, Darien Thomas who is the father of Yolanda's second child, and Clarence Carl Carte; who is the father of her youngest.
While authorities never charged anyone, the Jamestown Police Chief revealed to 2 On Your Side that investigators know who killed her, but are concerned they do not yet have enough evidence to convict the killer.
Reporter Aaron Saykin spoke to Chief Rex Rater.
RATER: "We've discussed with the district attorney if we're at the point now whether we should take it to the grand jury."
SAYKIN: "Fair to say that you're pretty comfortable in your belief that you've narrowed it down to who did. It's just a matter of proving it?"
RATER: "I'm personally comfortable with the direction of who the suspect is, yes."
SAYKIN: "Does that suspect still reside within the area?"
CHIEF: "He's within our reach."
Rater would not tell us who it is.
It was a somewhat encouraging revelation to the Bindics family because police are close, but also discouraging because they may get no closer.
REPORTER: "Have you prepared yourself for the possibility that SAYKIN: Have you prepared yourself for the possibility that they may never arrest that person?"
PATRICIA BINDICS: "Oh yes.. Oh yes. I'm afraid so. Yeah. It probably makes a little more misery, but yes."
Chief Rater is hoping to gather more evidence so the district attorney can comfortably pursue a conviction.
REPORTER: "Fair to say this is stalled, at least somewhat?"
RATER: "It is. It absolutely is."