Unsolved Mysteries Recap for Mystery At Mile Marker 45
The season premiere opens with Dianne Viliante talking about her daughter Tiffany. She remembers her as a beautiful, bright girl who was about to be a middle starter for her volleyball team in college.
However, one fateful night, Tiffany was hit by a train, a death that was considered a suicide. Diane knows that this is not the case and will stop at nothing to get to the bottom of what caused her daughter’s death.
Tiffany’s father Stephen shows off her room, which has not changed since the day she died. He and Dianne recall Tiffany being born and how she was a happy, special surprise that brought an immense amount of joy into their lives. They show off the memorial of her life in photos, which was made by Tiffany’s sisters.
On July 12th, 2015, Tiffany and her family went to a graduation party for a cousin. Everyone recalls having a good time. That night, around 9:15, one of Tiffany’s friend called her parents to come see her . She had accused Tiffany of using her credit card without permission, which led to a fight and Tiffany finally admitting that she indeed used the card. This upset Dianne, who said she had to tell her father.
Tiffany left the house around 9:28, which was the last time she was seen alive. Her family went to look for her, all the while trying to contact her to see if she was okay. They never got an answer.
Stephen recalls seeing her phone and coming to the realization that something terrible happened to his little girl. A deer camera showed her walking and eventually disappearing. Dianne assumed she had run into someone she knew, while her uncle Michael assumed that she may have gone to his mom’s house since it was in walking distance to where Tiffany had been.
Once it was confirmed that Tiffany was not at Michael’s mom’s house, the search continued, leading them to train tracks, where they discovered a female had been hit. Michael talked to the police, giving them a description of Tiffany. They did not confirm anything, but allowed him to see and identify the body.
Michael was able to confirm the body and was told that they now had to tell Stephen and Dianne that Tiffany’s body had been found and that she was struck by a train. Stephen breaks down as he remembers getting the news and how his brother told him not to see the body. Everyone else was in shock and disbelief that they lost her in such a horrific way.
The next day, news reports claimed that Tiffany’s death had been a suicide, upsetting her loved ones. They had no reason to believe that she had been suicidal. She had plans to go out with friends, go to college and was excited about the next chapter in her life.
Paul D’Amato was an attorney who worked on the case. He tried to help Tiffany’s family prove that this was not a suicide, but no avail. They claimed Tiffany was a trespasser that was not seen until it was too late, but then the story changed when the person questioned, who was a student engineer, changed his story. Despite this, the police stood by the suicide theory.
Louise Houseman was an investigator who worked on the case claimed that there were ramblings and inconsistencies in the statements made by the student engineer. She thinks there is a possibility that Tiffany was already dead on the tracks before she was struck.
Jim Brennenstuhl was a private detective who also worked on the case. He thinks there were several things about Tiffany’s death that made no sense, as did Louise. Stephan Rosenfeld, who is an advocate for the family, also thinks that there is no way this is a suicide. He adds that it was also irresponsible to draw conclusions like this so early on in the case, especially without any proof. He also points out there were no drugs ot alcohol in her system, which he and Louise agree should have been enough to change her cause of death to undetermined.
Tiffany’s body was cremated, so there was no way to exhume the body. Her shoes and clothes she was last seen in were also missing, making them wonder if there was more going on than met the eye.
Tiffany’s parents say that nobody questioned them about anything regarding her death. They also reiterate that she was not suicidal, despite ending a relationship not too long before her death.
Further investigation found one of Tiffany’s bracelets, bloody gloves and scene that was very contaminated. Her clothes and hair band were still missing. However, her shoes and hair band are later found by Dianne, who was looking on her own.They were not by the scene, but instead in the woods. Her shorts were still missing and still are to this day.
A DNA test was run, but nothing was found. It is now believed that Tiffany was a victim of foul play or that she could have discarded her shoes and hair band prior to her death. However, other evidence, such as her clean feet at the scene of the crime have everyone involved wondering if she met up with someone she knew or was trying to escape from someone.
Further investigation shows cuts on Tiffany’s arms and torso, which could prove that this was not a suicide, but that she was attacked before being put on the tracks…..where she bled out.
Chuck Atkinson is another PI involved in the case. He also believes this is a homicide case. He adds that there was someone who claimed Tiffany had got into an argument with someone and was later picked up by two females and a male, taken to the tracks, held at gunpoint and killed. Since this is third hand information, it is hard to prove if this actually happened. Other people who were later questioned claimed she wasn’t as happy as she let on and how she often felt as if she didn’t fit in.
The New Jersey Transit, Tiffany’s friends and the Atlantic City prosecutor’s office all declined to be interviewed.
In 2018, the NJ medical examiner’s office reviewed the case and upheld the cause of death being suicide.
The PIs in the case, as well as Tiffany’s family hope that people finally come forward with knowledge of what happened. They all hope to find justice in this case.