What happened to Tiffany Valiante? The theories in Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix case
She died in 2015 after being struck by an oncoming train
A new series of Unsolved Mysteries has been released on Netflix, and the first case it looks into is what happened to Tiffany Valiante. 18-year-old Tiffany died in 2015, after she had been hit by a train. Her death was ruled as suicide, but there are lots of other theories surrounding the case that think otherwise.
Tiffany Valiante, whose death is featured in the Mystery at Mile Marker 45 episode of Unsolved Mysteries season three, was a budding athlete. She died in 2015 after leaving a graduation party. After returning from the party with her parents, it was found that Tiffany had been using her parent’s debit card. When her mother went to call for Tiffany’s father to talk about it, Tiffany vanished.
She didn’t return, and her parents found her mobile phone discarded at the end of the driveway. That evening, a New Jersey Transit train hit Tiffany, around four miles from her home. But what happened to her? Here’s a breakdown of all the theories there are about what could have happened to Tiffany Valiante that night.
CW: Discussions of death and suicide.
In Unsolved Mysteries, we learn the death of Tiffany Valiante was logged as a suicide
After her death, it was ruled Tiffany had died by suicide and the case was closed. This was largely based on a brief look at the scene, and the evidence given by a student engineer who had been working on the train. They had initially said they saw Tiffany jump in front of train.
A senior engineer on the train had at first also said this, but later changed his story and said he never saw Tiffany when he was on the train. The student engineer also constantly changed their story of when they had seen her.
Another theory says Tiffany Valiante was taken and killed by someone
Despite the ruling, Tiffany’s family have remained sure her death was not a suicide, and things point towards there being some foul play in the case. “She wasn’t depressed, she wasn’t suicidal,” Tiffany’s mother said in Unsolved Mysteries. “She was happy, she was making plans.” Tiffany’s cousin added she showed “no signs of stress” when he had seen her on the same day of her death. An investigator who looked into the case added he is “convinced she did not take her own life.”
Private investigators who looked into the case for the family concluded the scene by the tracks was never treated as a crime scene, investigating was “rushed” and the idea this may have been a murder case was never considered.
When Tiffany left her home, she had been wearing a headband, shirt, shorts and shoes. Her body was found in just underwear – which too raises the question of foul play. Her shoes and headband were found on the outskirts of the wood the train track ran through, but why were they so far away? Had they been discarded by someone here?
One solid theory about what may have happened in the lead up to Tiffany’s death is explained by an investigator in Unsolved Mysteries. He said in pictures of her from when she was last seen, you can see car lights in the corner. He believes Tiffany got into the car with someone she knew, or voluntarily at least, and then her phone was thrown from the car. They then took her, and Tiffany was murdered.
There were also no drugs or alcohol found in Tiffany’s body following a toxicology report, which investigators argue should have meant her death was treated as undetermined.
It’s also unclear if Tiffany died before she made it to the train tracks
One thing that was never really considered by police at the time was the idea Tiffany may have already been dead when the train hit her. Her family, who are interviewed in the show, pointed out there is a “desolate” area right by where Tiffany was struck by the train, and said “this is where Tiffany lost her life”. They said there is a road one side and the train track the other, so no noise from there can be heard, and even described it as “the perfect spot to commit a murder.”
A private investigator added that from crime scene photographs, you can see a large amount of blood at the point where Tiffany and the train came in contact. They said this is consistent with the body being left there.
During Unsolved Mysteries we hear a theory store workers had been overheard discussing about how Tiffany died
In Unsolved Mysteries, it’s said a worker at a convinience store had heard other members of staff discussing the death of Tiffany Valiante. They claimed they heard the three workers say they’d been told it was a murder, when interviewed under oath.
One of the workers is said to have mentioned they were at the party Tiffany had been at, and that there had been an argument. Tiffany was later picked up by people she knew, two females and one male, who took her near the train tracks. There, they stripped her, “humiliated” her and held her at gunpoint.
When the three members of staff were brought in and interviewed, they said they hadn’t heard anything about the case, and this conversation between them never took place.
Was the death of Tiffany Valiante an awful accident?
Although it seems the least likely theory, there is still the possibility Tiffany’s death was an accident. In Unsolved Mysteries, an investigator questioned if this might be the case.
Volume one of Unsolved Mysteries season three is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.