Police Plead for Help in Brutal Cold Case Murder of New York Hairstylist and Mother of 2

cold case murder
Yvonne Torch visiting Disney World in May 2004, just before she was murdered.Handout

Yvonne Torch was found dead in her hair salon on June 9, 2004. Her killer has never been found.

New York State Police are pleading for help in the brutal cold case murder of a 31-year-old hair stylist and mother of two who was found dead on the floor of her hair salon.

The 18-year-old killing has continually stumped investigators, who said they have pursued hundreds of leads over the years without success. They described Yvonne Torch as "a loving mother and wife."

A little before 11 a.m. on June 9, 2004, Torch's battered body was discovered inside her shop, the His and Hers Salon in the upstate Hudson River town of Newburgh.

This week, police announced they had reopened the cold case and issued a new appeal for the public's help.

"New advancements in science and technology have breathed new life into the case," the state police said in a Facebook post.

Torch's husband, Pierre, said the couple had decided to sell the shop and move to Florida after visiting Disney World in May 2004, just days before she was killed.

“We had decided that we were going to pack up everything, sell our house, and move,” Pierre told "Dateline" in a segment broadcast this week. “We wanted to get jobs in Disney.” After they returned home, Yvonne began looking for homes in Florida.

But those dreams ended on June 9. Pierre Torch said his grandmother had visited Yvonne's salon that morning and got her hair done. The next customer arrived to find the stylist dead on the floor.

New York State Police say Yvonne was murdered during a 15-minute time frame that began at 10:40 a.m.

Her husband was initially considered a suspect, he said. “I spent the next three weeks going through sheer hell,” Pierre said. He was eventually ruled out, investigators said.

Pierre said his wife was well-liked in Newburgh, and her funeral drew a large crowd of mourners.

The husband said he knew of no one who wished her ill. “I mean, the amount of people that showed up to her funeral says a lot,” Pierre told "Dateline." The mortuary director said he had “never seen a turnout for a funeral like this,” Pierre recounted.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the New York State Police Department at (845) 344-5370 or e-mail crimetip@troopers.ny.gov.

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