'Never going to give up': Family of slain detective renews push for justice in cold case
Thirty years of heartbreak has not broken the Wustenhoff family's determination to seek justice.
Dennis Wustenhoff, a Suffolk County police officer who worked as an undercover narcotics detective, was killed by a car bomb on Feb. 15, 1990. The car had been parked in front of his North Patchogue home, and the sophisticated pipe bomb had been placed under his front seat.
Wustenhoff was pronounced dead. No one was ever arrested in the case.
Three decades later, his widow Fran and children Melissa, Jennifer and Kevin say that it's time that the perpetrator is brought to justice.
"Somebody is out there that is responsible for this, enjoying their life, maybe having kids, grandkids, happy moments, weddings," says Melissa. "And we had to spend the past 30 years with somebody missing that whole time."
“You grow up trying so hard to forget this awful horrific thing happened, but it’s like a cancer in your chest,” says Kevin Wustenhoff.
News 12 questioned Suffolk County police about the status of the Wustenhoff homicide investigation. At first, officials would only say that the investigation is ongoing, with no further information. But after the exclusive story aired on News 12
with the victim's family demanding justice, the Suffolk County Police Department announced a $10,000 reward for information
in the case that leads to an arrest, and the FBI agreed to review evidence in the case.
"We have sat and waited, and waited, and waited -- police commissioner after police commissioner, officer after officer - they all told us they want this. Do they?" says Wustenhoff's daughter Jen.
Wustenhoff’s family has also created a Facebook page
to share their story.
Anyone with information on the case can call Suffolk County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.