Vigil held for 14-year-old murder victim in 1994 cold case

A vigil was held Friday for 14-year-old Jenny Lin, who was found murdered at her family’s home in Castro Valley in 1994. Lin's killer has yet to be identified by authorities.

"It's just hard for us to get over it. It’s just so difficult," said John Lin, Jenny's father.

Lin was found stabbed to death, just two days after celebrating her birthday. Friday marked the 28th year that the family has held a vigil. 

"We like to keep our promise to Jenny to that we will find justice for her," said Mei-Lain Lin, Jenny’s mother. "Jenny’s killer is still out there, and we don’t want him or her or whoever to do it to other kids in other families, so we like to keep it in the public’s eye."

Each year, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office offers any updates they’re able to share at the vigil. Advances in DNA technology are giving them new reason to remain optimistic that they’ll eventually be able to track down Jenny’s killer.

"We’ve taken some key pieces of evidence. We’ve used the M-Vac system. We believe we’re going to be successful in abstracting some cells," said Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern.

The Jenny Lin Foundation, created by the family in her honor, works to ensure that her case never fully fades from the spotlight and to help teach a younger generation how to protect themselves. 

"Learning a lot about ways to stay safe when you’re walking by yourself, or in your house, just locking doors," said Nadja Ryan, a volunteer with the Jenny Lin Foundation.

The foundation also honors Jenny's talents as a musician and in the classroom, through scholarships and a youth music program. 

"She loved music, and we want her love of music to be passed on to all the young musicians in the area," said John Lin.

"The way that it’s taken something so tragic, and turned it into something that was so good is amazing to me," said Greg Conway, a classmate of Jenny's and a volunteer with the Foundation. "I think that’s the reason I stay involved and pretty much would do anything they ask me to do."   

The family continues to ask for the public’s help in identifying Jenny's killer. This year they’ve upped the reward to $200,000 for any information leading to an arrest and conviction.