“I was upstairs in my room watching TV and it broadcast that a body had been found,” June Bair told Dateline. “They thought it was her.”
It was the fall of 1993 and June’s friend, 18-year-old Julie Barnyock, had been missing since November 8.
“I didn’t really know a lot of details about it,” June told Dateline. “But I knew that nobody knew where she was.”
June said she moved to Chalfont, Pennsylvania when she was in the fourth grade. Julie was her first friend. “I remember my first day at that school I knew not a single person,” June said. “She befriended me on the playground, and we were fast friends after that.”
According to June, there’s not much to do in Chalfont, but the girls always find a way to entertain themselves. “We did stuff at church, the roller-skating rink,” June told Dateline. “Going to the movies, the mall.”
“We were pretty good friends through high school,” June said. “[Julie] was just very friendly,” June said. “She was a well-liked person in school.”
June said that she and Julie graduated from high school in May of 1993. She said Julie was not pursuing higher education, and started working instead. “She went on to do. like, childcare — daycare, kind of stuff,” June told Dateline. “She was working in the city — in Philadelphia.”
And that’s where Julie was on November 8, 1993 — before she disappeared.
Dateline spoke with the Director of Communications for the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Kate Delano, who said that Julie “had been in Philadelphia all day.”
Delano said that earlier that day, Julie went into the city to meet her boyfriend and that evening she was headed back home. “She was in Philadelphia and took the train from Philadelphia to Lansdale.”
According to Delano, at 11:40 pm on November 8, Julie called her father to pick her up from the Lansdale train station, but he said she was nowhere to be found when he got there. “Her parents reported her missing the next day,” Delano said.
Dateline tried to contact Julie’s family but was unsuccessful.
June told Dateline she remembers the day she found out Julie was missing. “I think my dad told me because he didn’t want me to hear it from somewhere else,” June said. “I remember him coming home from work and telling me, you know, that he was missing.”
Three weeks later, while watching TV, June said her heart dropped. “I actually screamed, and my parents came running,” June recalled. “They were showing a train yard and, you know, saying that they found a body and they’re pretty sure it’s her.”
Officials confirmed the body was, in fact, Julie.
Kate Delano told Dateline that Julie’s body was found by a train worker “in a remote part of the [Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority] train station” three weeks after she disappeared. Delano told Dateline that the cause of death was blunt force head trauma. “The death was ruled a homicide,” Delano said.
June couldn’t believe it when she learned her childhood friend had been murdered. She told Dateline the news of the murder shocked their town. “That was a pretty difficult time to go through,” she said. “There were a bunch of us that went to her service when it was held.”
Kate Delano told Dateline that at the time, gathering evidence for the case was difficult. “You don’t have a lot of physical evidence if the body has been in the elements for three weeks,” she said. “There had been some severe weather between when she went missing and when she was found, so her body was in a decomposed state.”
Authorities have not named any suspects in the case. “If they were suspects, then we’ve looked into it and dismissed them,” Delano said. “I will not talk about a suspect until they are charged.”
According to June Bair, since no one would want to kill her sweet and outgoing friend, it made everyone fearful. “It just makes you feel wary of people and people’s motives.”
To this day, June said Julie’s death still affects her. “I don’t like going through the Lansdale train station,” June said. “That makes me very anxious.”
Kate Delano told Dateline her office is still hoping to solve Julie’s case and bring closure to her family and those who love her. “We’re very mindful of the DNA technology improvement since these murders happened,” Delano said, referring to the cold cases her office is investigating. “We have been working with some of that to follow a couple of leads.”
Until then, June said she would continue to remember her friend in any way she could.
“Every year when we get to, kind of anniversary, I try to post something and kind of keep it current,” June said. “Next year will be 30 years. I just can’t believe she’s been gone that long.”
The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office is offering a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to solving Julie’s murder.
Anyone with information regarding Julie’s case is asked to contact the Montgomery County Detective Bureau at 610-278-3368.
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