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From the Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Margaret McNulty, whose 10-year-old daughter Amy Mihaljevic was kidnapped and killed in Ohio in an unsolved case that drew national attention, was found dead Saturday in her Las Vegas apartment. She was 54.

The cause of death was unknown, but McNulty's mother said her daughter suffered from severe complications of lupus.

"She never got over losing her little girl, little Amy," said Henrietta McNulty of Las Vegas. "The lupus probably killed her, but the depression didn't help. She was still so sad."

Amy was last seen Oct. 27, 1989, with a man at a shopping mall in a suburb of Cleveland.

According to the Plain Dealer, a Cleveland newspaper, authorities believe her abductor probably called the girl at home, posing as an acquaintance of her mother and drawing her to the mall where she was kidnapped.

Her disappearance prompted a nationwide search that ended Feb. 9, 1990, when a jogger found her body near a country road in Ashland County, Ohio.

The child had been stabbed twice in the neck and struck with a blunt object on the back of her head.

Although Ohio police and the FBI received dozens of leads after the case was featured on nationally televised programs such as "Oprah," Amy's killer has not been caught, and authorities don't have a solid suspect.

In 1996, seven years after her daughter's slaying, McNulty told the Plain Dealer that she still held out hope for the capture of Amy's killer.

McNulty moved from the Cleveland are to Las Vegas in August 2000.

Her mother said she last heard from her daughter two weeks ago.

"She wasn't answering her phone or coming by for her mail, and I knew something was wrong," Henrietta McNulty said.

She went to her daughter's apartment Saturday, but there was no answer when she knocked on the door about 9:30 a.m.

"I didn't have a key, so I called police, and they broke in and found her dead," she said.

It appeared her daughter had been dead for several days, she said. The Clark County coroner will determine the cause of death.

McNulty also is survived by her son, Jason Mihaljevic, of Kent, Ohio; two brothers; and a sister.

Arrangements for funeral services are pending.

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