CONCORD, N.H. — It's impossible to comprehend a family's pain in the wake of a murder, and even more so when the search for justice goes quiet.
It's been nearly three years since Trish Haynes’ body was found in a washing machine. The case has gone from cold to frigid, but ahead of the third anniversary of police finding her, her family is on a mission to find any leads that might finally bring them closure.
“Who would ever think that you're going to deal with a murder in your own family?” said Trish’s great aunt, Valorie Haynes-Alvarez. She sits at her kitchen table looking through photos of the great-niece she likened to her own granddaughter.
As she sifts through memories of shopping trips and days full of smiles, she is haunted by the horrific end of Haynes' life.
“She did not deserve any of this,” said Haynes-Alvarez.
In 2017, Haynes was living in Florida with her grandmother, Sandy.
In early 2018, Haynes left Florida and came to New Hampshire for a court date. She was hoping to close a tough chapter of her past, one of domestic violence and abuse.
“She was trusting, too trusting,” said Haynes-Alvarez of Haynes' relationships. “She always looked for love in the wrong places.”
“Trish had a good life, but it definitely it was a little rough,” said Haynes' friend, Chloe French. “At times, she tended to overlook the bad in people."
Haynes-Alvarez said she begged Haynes to stay in Florida and to try and handle the legal proceedings from home.
“I said, ‘Don't go back up there,’” said Haynes-Alvarez.
But, her great aunt said Haynes insisted, saying, “'I want to go back and make it right. I don't want this hanging over my head.'”
Haynes wasn’t planning to stay in New Hampshire for long, so she lived with friends.
“She really had no place to stay,” said her great aunt.
Haynes eventually moved in with an old high school acquaintance, and that’s when her family thinks trouble began. Haynes stopped communicating regularly, worrying her grandmother and family.
“We don't know what happened,” said French.
May 16, 2018, was the last time Haynes spoke to her family.
“She kind of checked in, told her grandmother she loved her, and then said, ‘I got to go,’” recalled French.
Months later, a tip led investigators to a pond outside of Grafton, New Hampshire.
Haynes' remains were found inside a washer and dryer at the bottom of the pond.
“I don't care who you are. You don't deserve to die alone like that,” said French.
“People don't just end up dismembered in a washer and dryer in a pond. Someone put them there,” she said.
The family says what’s happened since this heinous crime leaves them in pain every day.
“Not only have there been no arrests but there's no communication from investigators or detectives, nothing,” said French. “It's frustrating to think that in a small city, in a small state, someone could be killed and disposed of in such an awful way and nothing is done."
To help spread the word about the case, French started a Facebook page. It now has 4,000 followers.
Both French and Haynes-Alvarez both are holding out hope someone will come forward to the police with enough information to make an arrest.
“The more exposure that we've gotten, the more people that have come forward,” said French. “I don't think that this case will die out. I won't let this case go cold.”
And it's true; people actually can help. Shows, podcasts and social media accounts discussing about murder cases have exploded in popularity over the last year, and the public has helped solve a handful of those cases that up until now had gone completely cold.
That’s why Haynes' family is getting out in the community to talk about her case even more. This September, they’re holding a rally to mark the anniversary of the day she was found.
“We're not going away,” said Haynes-Alvarez. “We’re here for the long haul.”
We asked the New Hampshire Department of Safety to talk about the case, but they wouldn’t comment on an active investigation.
“To me, it feels like they just kind of want us to forget about it and move on,” said French. “I'm not going to let that happen.”
Even though answers won’t bring back the bright-eyed young woman with dreams of a better future, answers could help her family and her friends move forward.
“My hope is that people remember that they remember that Trish was a person, that she was a daughter, a granddaughter, a friend, a cousin, and most importantly, I want people to remember that nothing has been done about it yet. I don't want this to be another cold case,” said French.
“I've already come to terms with the fact that Trish is gone,” said Haynes-Alvarez. “My faith in God knows that she has a hope, but what hope does the rest of anybody in humanity, here in the state of New Hampshire have, if they can't put these people behind bars and get them off the street?"
The rally for Haynes will be held on September 4, 2021, at noon at the State Capitol building in Concord, New Hampshire.