Egg Harbor Township, N.J. (July 12, 2017) — Three years ago today 19-year-old Tiffany Valiante, the college-bound Mays Landing star volleyball player, was struck by a commuter train about five miles from her home. But was she already dead when the New Jersey transit train hit her? Was she first kidnapped and then fatally shot, tossed in front of the train to conceal the crime? And why has the state Medical Examiner , which quickly ruled her death a suicide, steadfastly refused to re-open the case despite the findings of a renowned forensic pathologist, and other experts, that Tiffany had not taken her own life?
Attorney Paul R. D’Amato has raised those and numerous other troubling questions on behalf of the Valiante family that’s been challenging the Medical Examiner’s report and recently asked newly elected Gov. Phil Murphy to intervene amid allegations of institutional incompetence and calls for a complete overhaul of the office that’s under the direction of the New Jersey Attorney General. Attorney D’Amato is preparing a new complaint, which is expected to be filed later today, to invalidate the Medical Examiner’s report on civil rights’ grounds.
“The Medical Examiner’s office has callously closed the book on Tiffany Valiante’s death, “ said D’Amato, “but no one should think that her family, friends, and many experts (including Dr. Donald Jason, a former Atlantic County Medical Examiner) believe there can be any semblance of closure while her death remains a total mystery, and quite possibly one of the state’s most perplexing unsolved murders.”
Mr. D’Amato restated parts of the original lawsuit that contended,“Tiffany Valiante did not take her life, but that she was the victim of a conspiracy to inflict bodily harm violently abducted on the night of July 12, 2015, and subsequently murdered”.
Louise Houseman, a former senior investigator in the Atlantic County Office of Medical Examiner, is among the experts that methodically reviewed the case and found no basis for the conclusion Tiffany committed suicide.
“I am convinced after having examined all of the relevant reports in the case, including those of NJ Transit, that while there are several plausible explanations for Ms. Valiante’s tragic death, suicide is not one of them,” stated Ms. Houseman.
The Valiante family yesterday stated, “We will not rest until there is justice for Tiffany, and all the unanswered questions regarding her death have been answered.” The family welcomes family and friends – and members of the media – to join the remembrance at their home (3160 Mannheim Ave., Mays Landing) starting at 6 p.m.