Netflix's Unsolved Mysteries has returned for volume 3 and the very first episode, titled Mystery at Mile Marker 45, is looking into the death of Tiffany Valiante.


In 2015, Tiffany, 15, of Mays Landing, New Jersey, was killed by an oncoming train.

The authorities ruled her death as suicide, however her parents believe that she was in fact murdered, and have worked tirelessly to get to the bottom of their daughter's death.

So, what exactly happened to Tiffany Valiante?

Read on for all the theories surrounding the case of Tiffany Valiante.

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What happened to Tiffany Valiante?

It's still not completely clear what happened to Tiffany Valiante on the day she passed, but a couple of facts are known.

On 12th July 2015, Tiffany attended a graduation party with her parents, Dianne and Steve. At around 9pm, one of Tiffany's friends asked to speak to her parents and told them that Tiffany had been using her debit card while at their home in Mays Landing.

According to The Daily Beast, this conversation lasted less than 10 minutes and Tiffany denied the accusations, although a receipt from the card was later found in her room. Nevertheless, her parents dealt with the situation. While searching her daughter's car, however, Dianne said she saw Tiffany slip the debit card in question into her pocket. Dianne went into her house to call for her husband, but when they returned, Tiffany was nowhere to be seen.

When she didn't return hours later, her parents began to worry and started to look around - that's when they found her cell phone discarded at the bottom of their driveway.

"Tiffany never went anywhere without her cell phone," her mother explained.

By 11:30pm, her parents became so worried they decided to call the police – but 27 minutes earlier, a New Jersey Transit train travelling southbound at 80 miles per hour had hit Valiante about four miles from her home.

Theories behind Tiffany Valiante's death

Unsolved Mysteries
Mystery at Mile Marker 45 in Unsolved Mysteries. Netflix

Tiffany died by suicide

The very next day after Tiffany's death, the case was closed as the state declared that she had died by suicide.

"I was devastated. I couldn't understand how they could come up with that," Dianne says in the Netflix series.

"My daughter wasn't depressed. She wasn't suicidal. Tiffany was happy! She was making plans to go to college, she was making plans with her roommate, she was making plans to play softball that Wednesday. She had plans to go to Great Adventure the next morning with friends."

"Tiffany was murdered"

"There was no way in hell that she committed suicide," her mother argues in the documentary. "People that knew Tiffany just couldn't believe it."

Despite the state's ruling, Tiffany's family didn't believe she had taken her own life, and a number of clues led them to believe that the truth could be more complicated than it seemed.

There were a number of discrepancies surrounding Tiffany's death and the official conclusion. For instance, Tiffany was found barefoot and wearing just her underwear, although her parents last saw her fully clothed.

Two week's after Tiffany's death, Dianne started to doubt the official conclusion and went looking for her own answers, only to stumble across Tiffany's missing shoes and headband in a neat pile nowhere near where the bloodhounds had tracked her scent and more than a mile from where she had died on the tracks. Her parents found this odd as the autopsy hadn't suggested anything about her feet to show she'd walked this distance without shoes.

The family later won a court order to have evidence tested, however, they were horrified by the condition of things, according to Paul D’Amato, the family’s attorney.

As reported by, the family received a photo of an axe found near the scene that had “red markings” on it, but couldn't be tested because it had gone missing.

“NJ Transit lost the axe,” D'Amato said. “How do you lose an axe?”

A spokesman for NJ Transit declined to comment at the time.

Tiffany's parents are still not sure what happened to her, but they think someone may have snatched her from outside their home, sexually assaulted her and chased her into the path of the train.

"You have parents, you have sisters, who have to live with the fact that some governmental agency concluded that their loved one committed suicide when the fundamentals of a suicide investigation weren’t done,” said D’Amato in 2017. “There’s a wrong here we’re trying to right, for the benefit of them.”

He added: “We have no doubt that Tiffany did not take her own life and that the medical examiner’s office made a grave error in misclassifying her death as suicide. It is our hope that this litigation will not only result in the proper classification, but also brings to justice those responsible for her death.”

Following the news that Tiffany's case would be included in Unsolved Mysteries, the reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of those responsible for Tiffany's death has been doubled to $40,000.

"We know every day Tiffany is looking down on us, giving us the strength to help find those who snatched her and were responsible for her death just before she was to start her incredibly promising college career," her parents said.

"We know so many others that also believe Tiffany's death was not suicide, that there was a rush to judgement to close the case, and that the real story of how and why she died has yet to be told. The combination of this new, deeply-researched, fact-based program, and the increased reward, might just be what's necessary to help get Tiff's case reopened," they added through their family friend and attorney, Paul D'Amato.

Unsolved Mysteries volume 3 starts on Netflix on Tuesday 18th October. Sign up for Netflix from £6.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Read more of our Documentaries coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what else is on.


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