Cold Case Investigation: Andrew Winkler


The cold case of Jon Benet Ramsay has been making headlines again with the special airing on WTRF CBS.

But right here in the Ohio Valley, there’s an unknown cold case that’s getting renewed attention.

It happened in 2003 when a 17-year-old boy went swimming in the Ohio River with two other young people.

Three went into the water, and only two returned.  Now, 13 years later, this cold case is heating up and is close to being solved.

Andrew Winkler was discovered floating in the Ohio River two days after he went swimming with two other young people. The coroner ruled the cause of death as accidental drowning. His family didn’t believe it.

“He could out-swim me any day and he liked to dive and he could swim long distances,” said Jonathan Winkler, Andrew’s brother.

A Wheeling police detective suspected foul play in the case but he was called up to the military while investigating Andrew’s death.

And somehow the case went by the wayside and got stagnant.

“That’s so common in most cold cases, if you lose one key detective or somebody, the case goes out the window,” said Fred Connors, Ohio Valley Cold Case Task Force Coordinator.

So older brother Jonathan Winkler, 19-years-old at the time of Andrew’s death, started his own investigation.

He discovered a surveillance camera on top of the nearby water plant, and got police to get the video just in time.

Jonathan says on the video you can see three young people walk down to the river and two walk back up.

The cold case task force has questioned people in six states and they say they all say the same thing.

“Things got out of hand. One man attempted to sexually abuse the female. Andrew saw this going on, came to the female,” said Harry Croft with the Ohio Valley Cold Cae Homicide Investigation.

They say the girl got away, and the other boy came up later.

“He came up and had Andrew’s CD player and wallet and gave them to her and said here, Andrew won’t be needing these anymore,” said Shawna Winkler, Andrew’s mother.

“We need somebody to do their job. And if that’s the city building or the people on the street or just a plain individual. We need somebody to do the right thing and come forward and tell us something that we can get this to a grand jury and get this to a closure for the family,” said Croft.

“There’s enough facts that this man should be behind bars,” said Shawna.

The family is offering up to $20,000 in cash for anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of Andrew’s killer.

You can send information to: 
Ohio Valley Cold Case Task Force
PO Box 2180, Wheeling, WV 26003.

You can also call (304) 312-7896.

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