NYPD reopen cold case of hairstylist fatally beaten in salon


New York State Police are asking for help in the brutal murder of a 31-year-old hairstylist and mother of two who was found dead on the floor of her hair salon.

The 18-year-old’s murder has continually baffled investigators, who said they have pursued hundreds of leads over the years without success. They described Yvonne Torch as “a loving mother and wife”.

Shortly before 11 a.m. on June 9, 2004, Torch’s battered body was discovered in his store, the His and Hers Salon in the North Hudson town of Newburgh.

This week, police announced they had reopened the cold case and issued a new appeal for public assistance.

“New advances in science and technology have breathed new life into the case,” state police said in a Facebook post.

Torch’s husband, Pierre, said the couple decided to sell the shop and move to Florida after visiting Disney World in May 2004, just days before he died.

“We had decided that we were going to pack everything up, sell our house and move out,” Pierre told “Dateline” in a segment that aired this week. “We wanted to find jobs at Disney.” After they returned home, Yvonne began looking for homes in Florida.

But those dreams came to an end on June 9. Pierre Torch said his grandmother visited Yvonne’s salon that morning and had her hair done. The next client arrived to find the stylist dead on the floor.

New York State Police say Yvonne was murdered during a 15-minute period that began at 10:40 a.m.

Her husband was initially considered a suspect, he said. “I spent the next three weeks going through absolute hell,” Pierre said. He was eventually ruled out, according to investigators.

Pierre said his wife was well-liked in Newburgh and her funeral drew a large crowd of mourners.

The husband said he didn’t know anyone who wished him harm. “I mean, the number of people who showed up for his funeral speaks volumes,” Pierre told “Dateline.” The morgue director said he had “never seen such assistance for a funeral like this,” Pierre said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the New York State Police Department at (845) 344-5370 or email [email protected]

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