$45,000 reward offered for help solving 1969 Eugene cold case

Janet Lynn Shanahan.
Janet Lynn Shanahan.(Eugene Police Department)
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 8:18 PM PDT
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EUGENE Ore. (KPTV) – A $45,000 reward is being offered for tips in one of the Eugene Police Department’s oldest cold cases – the 1969 death of 22-year-old Janet Lynn Shanahan.

In April 1969, Shanahan had been married to 23-year-old Christopher John Shanahan for about 10 months and was attending spring term at the University of Oregon with the goal of becoming a teacher. On April 21, 1969, Shanahan attended an evening birthday party for her 15-year-old brother at her family’s house on Rutledge Street in west Eugene. According to her husband, Shanahan never returned to their campus-area apartment after the birthday party. The next day Janet was reported missing.

Shanahan’s body was found on April 23, 1969, by her husband Christopher and Shanahan’s sister after the two decided to go out looking for her 1951 Plymouth sedan. The Eugene P.D. said after roughly 10 minutes of looking, the two noticed the car parked partially in the ditch on Cross Street, near Roosevelt Boulevard and Maple Street, an industrial area at the time. In the trunk of the car was Shanahan’s body. She was later determined to have died of strangulation.

Shanahan’s family and friends are offering a $45,000 reward for the identification, arrest, and conviction of her killer.

The Eugene Police Cold Case Squad can be contacted at 541-682-8855 or by leaving a message at coldcasesquad@eugene-or.gov.