• Family of Theresa Corley hopes reward will bring new information in murder

    By: Bob Ward

    Updated:

    A Bellingham family is taking a dramatic step to break open a heartbreaking case.

    Theresa Corley was murdered nearly 40 years ago, and now her family is offering a $25,000 reward for information. 

    "This is a serious gesture to come forward and give us what we are looking for," said Gerri Houde, Corley's sister.

    Houde and her family have been seeking justice ever since Dec. 1978 when Theresa was sexually assaulted, murdered and dumped on the side of Route 495.

    >> NEW ENGLAND'S UNSOLVED PODCAST: Theresa Corley

    The silence has been deafening so now Theresa's family is putting up a reward.

    "I think there are probably people that are out there that need money, quite frankly. It's just added incentive for them to step up and say, OK I do have this information," said Houde.

    The search for answers last year led to the exhumation of Theresa's body from her Milford grave, where her fingernails were collected for DNA analysis.

    But a potential big break came in December, when Massachusetts State Police told Theresa's family they were finally able to extract a full suspect DNA profile from the jeans Theresa was wearing when she was killed. 

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    The reward money comes from fundraising donations - with Theresa's family kicking in $10,000 of it themselves.

    "Ten-thousand dollars is a lot of money, but in all honesty is a small amount for the answers we've been waiting for for almost 40 years," said Houde. "If you divide it by 40 years, it's not that much money. It's significant, but it's not that much and we are more than willing to do it."

    Corley's family firmly believes there are people in the Bellingham area - and beyond - who know exactly what happened to Theresa, but are refusing to talk.

    The family is hoping that now, with money on the table, things might change. 

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