Real Name: Jill Kristen Behrman
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
Date: May 31, 2000
Occupation: Student Recreational Sports Center Worker
Date of Birth: 1981
Weight: 120 pounds
Marital Status: Single
Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, green eyes.
Details: Nineteen-year-old Jill Behrman had just finished her freshman year as a business major at Indiana University. At around 9am on Wednesday, May 31, 2000, she went for a bike ride. Biking was a form of exercise for her. She was last seen a half hour later near the intersection of Harrell Road and Moffet Lane in Southeastern Bloomington, Indiana. She was supposed to meet her father and grandfather at 3pm for lunch after her shift at the Student Recreational Sports Center, but she never showed up. When she didn't return home that evening, her father called the police.
Jill's family soon distributed flyers all over town and volunteers mapped out routes where she may have gone that day. At around 5pm on Friday, her bike, a Cannondale R500, turned up. It was spotted by a jogger, who reported that he had seen it in a cornfield near Elletsville, ten miles northwest of Bloomington on Wednesday, well before anyone knew of her disappearance. He picked it up and kept it until he saw a news story about the case. Investigators searched the area but found no further clues.
The area where Jill's bike was found brought up more questions than answers for investigators and her family. She was last seen riding away from her home in a southerly direction. However, her bike was found ten miles to the northwest. This would not have been a route that she would take, as it would have taken her through traffic in town.
Three days later, the mystery deepened when a digital radio believed to be Jill's was found neatly placed in the parking lot of a Bloomington church. At the same time, another churchgoer noticed a suspicious dark colored pickup truck drive quickly out of the lot. Police would like to question its driver. Investigators have conducted dozens of searches and have received nearly 3,000 tips about the case.
One of their most viable tips was about an eighteen-year-old woman, who claimed that two weeks after Jill vanished, she was walking past an old black Ford pickup truck in Elletsville at around 10:30pm when the driver grabbed her arm and attempted to pull her inside: she broke free and escaped. However, no one has ever been arrested in that case. Elletsville is just three miles from where Jill's bike was found, and authorities believe that the two cases may be connected.
Another attempted abduction is believed to be related to Jill's case. The incident occurred in Bowling Green, Kentucky and involved a female cyclist whose bike was purposefully struck by an unknown motorist. He tried to drag her into his car before he was chased away by a witness. A composite of him has been on Jill's missing posters in hopes that someone may recognize him and bring him to justice.
Authorities have another theory in this case: they think Jill may have been the victim of a hit-and-run and that the occupants of the vehicle may have panicked, moved her bike and then hid her body. However, the damage to her bike was minimal, making it unlikely that she was struck while riding. Despite this, investigators believe that it is possible that she was struck while she was resting or working on her bike. Unfortunately, little evidence has been found to tell what really happened to her.
Suspects: Authorities believe that the unidentified man that tried to abduct the young woman in Elletsville may have been involved in Jill's disappearance. He was described as a Caucasian male who drove an old black Ford pickup truck. He has never been identified.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the September 10, 2001 episode. It was also profiled on America’s Most Wanted.
Results: Unresolved. On March 22, 2002, three women named Wendy Owings, Uriah Clouse, and Alisha Evans implicated themselves by confessing that they had murdered Jill and had dumped her body in the vicinity of Salt Creek. A search was made of the area which was cut short by flooding, but her body were not recovered. However, polygraph examinations of the women revealed that they were lying about their involvement. No charges were filed for their deception.
In March 2003, Jill's skeletal remains were discovered by two hunters in a wooded roadside area east of Bloomington in Morgan County, Indiana. The cause of her death was ruled to be a contact shotgun wound to the back of her head. In April 2006, police arrested John Myers of Ellettsville for her abduction and murder.
John had been a suspect for several years. Jill's bike was found just one mile from his home. He was on vacation from work on the week of her disappearance. On the day she vanished, witnesses noticed that the windows in his trailer were covered and his car was parked out of sight. Also, he was reportedly hysterical that day and talked about leaving town and never coming back.
John and his girlfriend had broken up shortly before Jill vanished. A few days later, he told his aunt about her disappearance and claimed that he was afraid that he would be blamed for it. He also stated that they "hadn't found her body yet" and guessed that she was dead. He also told her that he was "scared" of road blocks, but wouldn't say why. In August 2000, his brother noticed that the twelve-gauge shotgun that he stored at his parents' home was missing. The same type was used to kill Jill.
Following Jill's disappearance, John brought up the case to multiple people for no apparent reason. He told coworkers about how he was considered a suspect, how her bike was found near his home, and how she was probably abducted around there. He also falsely claimed that he had found her bike. He also "bet" that her remains would be found in the woods. On another occasion, he stated that if he was ever going to hide a body he would do so in a wooded area up "this way", pointing north on Maple Grove Road. He claimed he was comfortable with that area because he used to hunt there. He also told a corrections officer that he felt "sorry" for what happened to Jill; he gave him a list of places to help search for her. Her body was later found in one of those areas.
In November 2004, John called his grandmother, stating, "Grandma, if you just knew the things that I've got on my mind. [I]f the authorities knew it, I’d be in prison for the rest of my life." He also claimed that his father knew what happened and had "taken it to his grave." He later told her, "Grandma, I wish I wasn’t a bad person. I wish I hadn’t done these bad things."
While in jail on unrelated charges, John also talked to his cellmate about the case. He stated “[I]f she [referring to Jill] wouldn’t have said anything, ...none of this would have happened.” Investigators later took his ex-girlfriend to the area where Jill's body was found. She identified it as the same place that he had taken her one evening after they had gotten into an argument.
When questioned by police, John claimed that he was not afraid of road blocks and had never talked to anyone about Jill's disappearance. The prosecution claimed that he had been angered after breaking up with his girlfriend and took his rage out on Jill by abducting and murdering her. He was convicted of murder on October 30, 2006 and sentenced to sixty-five years in prison.
It has since been suggested that John may be innocent due to a rush to justice. The defense noted that there was no physical evidence or eyewitnesses that directly linked him to the crime. Allegedly his defense attorney, Patrick Baker, barely put any effort into his case, and the jurors were allowed to drink alcoholic beverages and maintain access to cell phones and televisions, conducting themselves in a manner described as a "fraternity party like" atmosphere. He appealed the verdict to the Indiana State Supreme Court. In November 2015, his conviction was upheld.
In October 2019, a federal court vacated Myers's conviction, claiming that his legal counsel was ineffective. They ordered his release within 120 days of the ruling, unless prosecutors opted to retry him. However, in August 2020, a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed this decision. The three-judge panel determined that while the district court was correct about his legal counsel, the jury's verdict was the proper outcome based on the state's case against him. As a result, his conviction was upheld. In April 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition to review his case.
- Jill Behrman at Unsolved Archive
- Jill Behrman at Bloomington Wikia
- Jill Behrman at the Indy Channel
- College town responds to student's disappearance - June 7, 2000
- Bloomington responding to student's disappearance - June 7, 2000
- Search goes on for missing girl - June 7, 2000
- Family to mark one-year anniversary of disappearance - May 31, 2001
- Two vehicles sought in Behrman disappearance - August 31, 2002
- Skeletal remains are those of missing cyclist - March 14, 2003
- Remains ID'd as Behrman's - March 14, 2003
- Mother Marilyn Behrman Carries On - June 22, 2003
- Man charged in murder of IU student - April 11, 2006
- Not guilty plea set for man charged in cyclist’s death - April 12, 2006
- Who killed Jill Behrman? - October 16, 2006
- Prosecutor gives cause of death in Behrman case - October 17, 2006
- Jury convicts Ind. man in killing of coed who disappeared while riding bike 6 years ago - November 1, 2006
- Man sentenced to 65 years in Behrman case - December 2, 2006
- Jill Behrman murder case - timeline - February 4, 2008
- Judge denies new trial for man convicted of killing Jill Behrman - November 19, 2013
- Mother of Jill Behrman shares words of comfort, pain in wake of another murder - May 1, 2015
- John Myers vs. State of Indiana - May 28, 2015
- Conviction upheld in Jill Behrman murder - November 17, 2015
- Judge vacates conviction for man found guilty in murder of IU student Jill Behrman - October 1, 2019
- Attorney general appealing release of convicted murderer - November 7, 2019
- Killer of Indiana University student Jill Behrman to be released from prison June 15 - June 1, 2020
- Ruling Upholds Conviction Of John Myers In Death Of Jill Behrman - August 4, 2020
- SCOTUS Denies Petition In Jill Behrman Murder Case - April 8, 2021
- U.S. Supreme Court will not review John Myers’ conviction in Jill Behrman murder case - April 12, 2021
- Jill Behrman at Find a Grave