How Did Tricia Reitler Die? Have Her Remains Been Found?

Image Credit: FOX 8 News Cleveland/YouTube

Apple TV+’s crime series ‘Black Bird’ centers around James “Jimmy” Keene, a drug dealer imprisoned at a federal prison in Milan, Michigan, who gets approached by FBI agent Lauren McCauley and federal prosecutor Edmund Beaumont for an undercover mission. If Jimmy manages to elicit suspected serial killer Larry DeWayne Hall’s confession to killing Tricia Reitler, along with the location of her suspected dead body, Lauren and Beaumont promise him a way to become a free man. Since the series progresses through the mystery that revolves around Tricia’s supposed death, one must be intrigued to know more about the same. If that’s the case, you are at the right place!

How Did Tricia Reitler Die?

First of all, the authorities haven’t yet confirmed that Tricia Reitler is dead. She is still seemingly officially considered as disappeared and not as dead or murdered. However, federal prosecutor Lawrence Beaumont believed that Larry Hall killed her. Beaumont sent Jimmy Keene to Larry’s penitentiary in Springfield, Missouri, to prove his belief. At the time of her disappearance, Tricia was a student at Indiana Wesleyan University. In March 1993, she left her campus for a nearby store, only to never return. Even though there isn’t any physical evidence to link Larry to Tricia’s disappearance and presumed death, Jimmy’s mission did shed light on the same.

According to the source text of the show, ‘In with the Devil: A Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer, and a Dangerous Bargain for Redemption,’ written by Jimmy Keene with Hillel Levin, Tricia got into Larry’s van on the day she was last seen. “Me and her [Tricia] were talking. She was friendly with me, James,” Larry told Jimmy, as per the latter’s book. “When I tried to kiss her [Tricia], she started like going crazy on me, and hitting me, and punching me, and wanting to get out of the van,” Larry continued. As per the source text, Larry tried to stop Tricia when she resisted him and tried to get out of his van.

“I started choking her [Tricia] to make her stop. And honestly, James, that’s the last thing I remember. It was like I blacked out again. When I woke up, I was lying next to her, and her clothes were all off. Then I looked at her and I knew that she was dead. I started feeling for a pulse but it wasn’t there. […] I realized I had done it again,” Larry added to Jimmy, as per ‘In with the Devil.’ According to the book, Keene assumed that Larry stabbed Tricia since her clothes were found with blood. “He [Larry] buried her [Tricia] that night, in a place that was way out in the country,” Jimmy told Hillel Levin, as per ‘In with the Devil.’

While detective Gary Miller was investigating the murder of Jessica Roach, Larry reportedly revealed that he had hurt other women. Larry was near the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University and confessed to raping and strangling a girl near the premises. When investigators showed Tricia’s photograph, as per reports, he identified the girl as Tricia as well. However, the next day, Larry recanted the confession.

Have Tricia Reitler’s Remains Been Found?

As of yet, Tricia Reitler’s supposed remains have not been found. Since Jimmy blew his cover before Larry revealed the apparent location of Tricia’s supposed dead body, Beaumont’s mission failed. As per ‘In with the Devil,’ Larry had a map of Illinois and Indiana with several red dots in the same, possibly indicating the location of his alleged victims’ dead bodies, which might have included the location of Tricia’s supposed dead body as well. However, the map was gone before Jimmy could obtain it.

Image Credit: FOX 8 News Cleveland/YouTube

Garry and Donna Reitler, Tricia’s parents, had bought her a grave and headstone, hoping that they would be able to rest their daughter one day. Unfortunately, what happened to Tricia remains ambiguous since her body hasn’t been found. “We’re not looking for revenge. We’re beyond that. We just want to bring her home. It would just mean so much to all of us,” Patricia Reitler’s mother Donna told FOX 59. Tricia’s case remains open as of March 2022.

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