‘It’s time’: Parents of slain Olathe woman still searching for answers 14 years later

Updated: Aug. 23, 2022 at 6:30 PM CDT
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OLATHE, Kan. (KCTV) – It’s time.

That’s what Carol and Mike Cochran said from their living room 14 years after their daughter’s homicide. They hope now that time has passed someone with vital information will have the courage to break their silence to help solve the case.

Olathe water treatment facility employees discovered Tammy Cochran’s burned body on March 5, 2008. She was just 37 years old. The daughter, sister, wife and mother was a talented hairstylist who ran her own business before her death. Her parents try to focus on remembering the good times they spent with their daughter before someone took her life.

“I think about her every night and what a wonderful daughter I had,” Tammy’s father Mike Cochran said. “I was lucky I had the years I did have with her.”

The couple’s lives forever changed when they were notified their daughter’s body was discovered near the Cedar Creek boat ramp near Gardner Road and 83rd Street on property owned by the City of Olathe. Time passed but their pain remains when they think of what could have been and what Tammy could be doing now.

“It breaks my heart,” Tammy’s Mother Carol Cochran said.

Investigators believe Tammy was killed at another location and brought to the area near the boat ramp and water treatment facility.

Investigators believe Tammy Cochran was killed at another location and brought to the area near...
Investigators believe Tammy Cochran was killed at another location and brought to the area near the boat ramp and water treatment facility.(Tammy Cochran family)

“It’s also our belief that whoever is responsible for this had some prior knowledge of this location,” Olathe Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Joel Yeldell said.

Police previously released still images from surveillance video from a BP gas station near Independence Avenue and Van Brunt Blvd on Feb. 29, 2008.

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“That was the last time Tammy was seen alive was on that footage,” Yeldell said. “We’re hoping that these photos, this footage jogs somebody’s memory, and they have the courage to come forward.”

Her family posted flyers and raised reward funds. They’ve waited for answers that never came. “We’ve worked over 200 leads on this case,” Yeldell said. “We’ve interviewed over 100 people.”

Following retirements, new detectives are assigned to the investigation. New police department hires are briefed about Tammy’s unsolved homicide.

“It’s time and it’s never too late. It’s never too late,” Carol Cochran said. “Maybe the bad people that everybody was afraid to come and talk about are gone now and they will feel more comfortable coming forward. That’s what we’ve been hoping. We would like closure.”

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Olathe police said they are continually resubmitting evidence to the crime lab for testing as new technology becomes available.

“This case is always at the front of our minds. I can tell you that there’s a couple of detectives that are retired at home that think about this daily,” Yeldell said. “I can’t wait for the day to be able to call both of them, as well as the Cochran family, and give them that final answer.”

There is up to an $18,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in the case. Anyone can anonymously call the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers tips hotline at 816-474-TIPS or use a QR code to anonymously submit a tip.

“It’s never going to bring her back or make the hurt go away but at least you’ll know that somebody’s going to be accountable for it,” Carol Cochran said.

Crime Stoppers also offers up to a $2,000 reward for any tip that leads to an arrest for any felony crime.

For more KC Unsolved stories, click here.

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Kansas City CrimeStoppers(KC Crimestoppers)