EUGENE, Ore. (KOIN) — The family and friends of Janet Lynn Shanahan, a woman who was strangled to death in 1969, are offering a $45,000 reward for the identification, arrest and conviction of Janet’s killer.

Eugene Police Cold Case Squad investigators say that it’s one of the town’s oldest open murder cases.

Janet was a student at the University of Oregon, studying to become a teacher, in April 1969. She had also been married to Christopher John Shanahan for a little under a year.

Janet attended a birthday party for her teenage brother on April 21, 1969. The party took place at her family’s home on Rutledge Street in west Eugene. Her husband, Christopher, says that Janet never returned to their apartment after the party, and was reported missing the next day.

On April 23, 1969, Christopher asked Janet’s sister to drive around town with him in hopes of finding Janet’s car, a 1951 Plymouth sedan. After about 10 minutes of searching, Christopher noticed the car partially parked in a ditch on Cross Street, near Roosevelt Boulevard and Maple Street. The area was an industrial site at the time.

Christopher opened the trunk of the car and discovered that Janet had been strangled to death.

After interviewing and re-interviewing many individuals over the years, investigators believe that Janet’s killer was known to her. But the case still remains unsolved.

Family and friends of Janet, who do not wish to be identified, have recently approached investigators offering reward money. Since 53 years have passed, they believe now may be the last realistic effort to ID the suspect and solve the case.

Cold case investigators believe that all tips are important. If you know something related to the case, please call the Eugene Police Cold Case Squad at 541-682-5588 or leave a message at