When Tiffany Valiante suddenly disappeared without a trace left behind on the night of July 12, 2015, no one could have ever expected that she would lose her life upon getting struck by a train. However, as profiled in Netflix’s ‘Unsolved Mysteries: Mystery at Mile Marker 45,’ it, unfortunately, remains unclear whether Tiffany was brutally murdered or died by suicide, as officials believe. Yet for now, if you just wish to learn more about the two individuals with the loudest voices demanding what they believe to be justice in this matter — her loving parents — we’ve got you covered.
Who Are Tiffany Valiante’s Parents?
It was back in 1989 when Dianne Schmidtke, a single mother of two — Jessica and Krystal — first came across Stephen Valiante, only for them to quickly develop a deep connection unlike any other. Thus, they soon tied the knot, settled in New Jersey’s wonderous suburban-rural Mays Landing as one big happy family, and then unexpectedly even welcomed Tiffany into their world in 1997. “We did not expect to get pregnant,” Dianne candidly admitted in the Netflix original. “But the first time we laid eyes on her, it was just like, you know, just heaven. She was absolutely gorgeous.”
Tiffany reportedly grew up in an incredibly doting as well as a supportive environment, that is, until 2014 rolled around to bring up some serious troubles/bickering between her and Dianne. Not only did the latter once punch her daughter hard enough to bruise following an argument, but Child Protection Services also paid them three visits within the year before asking them to seek counseling. That’s when the therapist determined the mother-daughter duo had “trouble communicating” yet were a “stable” family, inadvertently enabling Tiffany to come out as gay in early 2015.
However, everything shifted once again in July 2015, especially as Tiffany simply vanished into thin air within moments of having a small fight with Dianne — while she had left to get Stephen. Her family immediately began a search for the 18-year-old college volleyball athlete, but alas, only her bloody, ripped-apart body was recovered from the train tracks hours later. The leading New Jersey Transit investigative team was honestly rather quick to conclude Tiffany’s death as suicide, yet neither her parents nor other family members believed it for a lasting moment.
After all, according to their accounts, Tiffany was a genuinely happy teen looking forward to college, independence, as well as her life in general, so taking her own life was not even a question. This belief just grew further when Dianne found her daughter’s headband and shoes a mile from their family home two weeks later, indicating she seemingly did not walk to the rail tracks on her own. Thus began the Valiantes fight to get their daughter justice by pursuing legal actions to further inquiries, hiring private detectives, and maintaining public focus on the matter — which they still actively do.
Where Are Tiffany Valiante’s Parents Today?
From what we can tell, Dianne and Stephan continue to reside in their Mays Landing, New Jersey, family home to this day, where they keep their daughter’s memories alive to the best of their abilities. The patriarch has actually built a memorial garden as well as the volleyball court he’d once promised Tiffany as a college present in their backyard. The couple also visits the shrine assembled along the railroad tracks in her legacy every day. Their only goal now is to ensure the people connected to their daughter’s death are held accountable.
“We need justice,” Stephan elucidated in ‘Unsolved Mysteries.’ “Is it rough every day? Sure. Every day, it’s a job to wake up. Every day, to go to sleep. But it’s what I have to do until I find out who did this to our baby.” On the other hand, his wife once said, “People deserve to know what we’ve gone through, what we’re still going through. We just want [the authorities] to do what they were supposed to do. You’re supposed to do an investigation and a proper investigation.”
The Administrative Secretary at Hamilton Township Public Schools also added, “The proof’s there, but they don’t want to face that they screwed up. They failed my daughter. They failed my family.” Dianne and Stephan Valiante know they need to be their daughter’s voice, and they’ll never back away from it. That’s why they’re currently offering a $40,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of her possible killer, so if you know anything, please do not hesitate to call 609-927-0001.
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