Investigators working on the recently re-opened Julie Magliulo child murder case said today that they're considering several possibilities, including whether a serial killer may be responsible for the 21-year-old slaying.
The FBI announced Tuesday it is helping the Broward Sheriff's Office find who might have abducted the 3-year-old girl from near her home in the 6000 block of Southwest 19th Street, in North Lauderdale, on June 8, 1987.
Her skeleton was discovered 10 months later in a remote field near U.S. 27 and State Road 84.
FBI Special Agent Jim Lewis said there wasn't any specific evidence that pointed to a serial killer, but he said it was an angle he and other investigators have not ruled out.
Authorities at the time scrutinized the girl's parents, neighbors and family friends. Although they could not identify a suspect then, investigators are confident that they will eventually solve the case.
The FBI's renowned Behavioral Sciences Unit is involved. The unit profiles all sorts of major criminals, including serial killers.
"This case may be cold ... but it still has a heartbeat," Lewis said.
The little girl with a blond ponytail and barely 3 feet tall had stepped out of her house barefoot.
Julie, wearing a blue T-shirt and red shorts, vanished from a neighborhood that at the time was known as unincorporated Pompano Beach.
Neighbors last saw the child walking toward a wooded area that contained a pathway leading to a nearby Circle K convenience store, said Broward Sheriff's homicide detective Scott Champagne.
Over the years, investigators have hit one dead-end after another in the case. But the FBI has reopened the investigation with the Broward Sheriff's Office as part of a push within the federal agency to review unsolved child murders and disappearances nationwide.
Lacking much physical evidence, a suspect or solid theories, investigators essentially are starting from scratch.
"We're just looking for new leads," said FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela.
On Tuesday, the FBI announced a $25,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case.
Anyone with information may contact investigators at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).