In his final weeks on the job, the outgoing Jamestown Police Chief gave a hopeful but candid assessment of the Yolanda Bindics case.
Rex Rater, who became chief in early 2006, will become the department's second chief to retire since Bindics was murdered in August of 2004. The mother of four vanished after leaving work at the Jamestown Family Dollar. Two years later, hunters discovered her body on state land nearby in Charlotte. Authorities believe she was murdered.
REPORTER: In your time here as chief, is that your biggest disappointment - not finishing this case?
RATER: Yes. Absolutely.
Bindics' mother, Patricia, is beginning to wonder whether her family will have see justice in the case.
"I know we deserve that and I would like to really see it happen," Patricia Bindics said.
After Yolanda Bindics vanished, Police said they interviewed several men whom, they said, has a relationship with Bindics. Last year, on the fifth anniversary of her disappearance, Chief Rater revealed to 2 On Your Side that his investigators know who killed Bindics, and nearly charged the killer, but opted not to, for fear they did not have enough evidence to guarantee a conviction.
"It's just like it's worthless because they can't bring the person up (on charges)," Patricia Bindics said.
REPORTER: Some out there say, if you this close to getting the right person, why not just bring charges? Let the jury decide?
RATER: I think that's a collective decision with the police department as well as the district attorney's office, and I think it would be irresponsible at this point to not give it some more time to see if something more can't be developed.
Chief Rater pointed out that there is no statute of limitations for murder cases, and that police are continuing to gather evidence.
REPORTER: Since Yolanda Bindics vanished, and was later found to be murdered, the city has gone through, now, two police chiefs with no conclusion. What do you say to the family, who is really starting to wonder whether this will ever get solved?
RATER: I would say there is no guarantee. I would say we would do our absolute level best. I would say we're working within a system
that requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt, because it is probably a the most serious accusation that can be made. So there needs to be a very high degree of certainty before going forward.
REPORTER: In essence you're saying there is a good chance we may never bring this to a conclusion?
RATER: That's possible. Yes. Yes. And that, I think it's very difficult for a family to understand, and I don't know that I could entirely embrace that is I were in their position. Because the loss of a loved has got to be just absolutely horrific for them.
Chief Rater is asking anyone with any information about Bindics' murder to contact the Jamestown Police Department (716) 483-7537. There is currently a $20,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the killer.