Revisiting the cold case of Kelley Gaffield

WEBSTER, N.Y. — Kelley Gaffield would have been 44 years old today.

But on this day back in 1995, the Webster teenager disappeared.

Months later, her body was found in a field in town. Her family has been looking for answers ever since.

In July of 1995, Kelley Gaffield celebrated her 16th birthday. She had plans to get her driver’s license and start her first job.

But those dreams would never become a reality.

“She gave me a hug, kiss and ‘I love you’ and that was the last time I saw her,” Kelley’s mom Christine Reilly said.

On August 8, 1995, Kelley left her Webster home to meet up with some friends. It was something she did all the time.

But that night, she never came home.

“I knew something was terribly wrong because that was not Kelley’s MO. If she wanted to stay out later she would call and ask. So it was very … it was just not right,” Reilly said.

Kelley’s family last saw her around 7 p.m. that night.

Two days later, they reported her disappearance.

“That’s part of the confusion with this case. The last time her family saw her was August 8th. Through the investigation, people continued to report sightings of Kelley up through September. None of those have even been confirmed as being authentic sightings,” Webster Police Chief Dennis Kohlmeier said.

On Oct. 22, 1995, Kelley was found dead by a hunter, in the same woods where she would hang out with friends.

Her cause of death has never been determined.

“The working theory would be that yes, she probably was a victim of a homicide, but from a factual point of view we have to work through and establish a fact pattern to try to support that conclusion,” Kohlmeier said.

But her family thinks they know what happened.

“I believe that probably it was more than one person out there. I believe without saying names that she was looking for a specific person and then everything went the wrong way. I think she was attacked. I would have to guess she was raped and I think her life was ended. Whether it was accidental or on purpose I don’t know,” Kelley’s aunt Beverly Brown said.

And while they hope for a day that brings answers, they think about who Kelley might have become.

“I always wonder, would she have her hair long? Would she have that purple car she wanted? Would she have gotten married? I know she would have gotten married and had children,” Reilly said.

Everyone who worked at the police department when Kelley was found is no longer there, but the chief says they continue to work the case and hope to get justice for Kelley and her family.

If you have any information that can lead to closing the case, submit tips to the Webster Police Department at or call 911 and ask to speak to an officer.