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“The Mystery at Mile Marker 45”: Everything About Tiffany Valiante’s Death Mystery

These terrible remarks were spoken by Dianne Valiante, the mother of Tiffany Valiante, the topic of the first episode of Unsolved Mysteries, Volume 3. 18-year-old Tiffany, who planned to attend Mercy College in New York on a volleyball scholarship, was struck by a train in isolated Mays Landing, New Jersey, in July 2015.

Authorities quickly ruled her death a suicide, but Tiffany’s family is adamant that Valiante was killed and her body was dumped on the train tracks to conceal the crime scene.

If you have previously seen the episode, you are aware of the ambiguity surrounding Tiffany’s death. Here is a quick synopsis of “The Mystery at Mile Marker 45,” followed by a selection of relevant articles.


What We Know About Tiffany Valiante’s Death:

On the night of Tiffany’s murder, the Valiante family attended a graduation celebration held across the street from their home for Tiffany’s cousin. Tiffany came home around 9:15 p.m., and her mother received a call from one of Tiffany’s friends requesting her to come to the house. Tiffany’s companion was shouting when Dianne and her husband Stephen (Tiffany’s father) came, accusing Tiffany of using her credit card without her permission. After her friend’s departure, Tiffany revealed to her mother that it was real. Tiffany was absent when Dianne and Stephen returned from entering the home to get Stephen.

Stephen spotted Tiffany’s phone on the side of the road near their home after a large number of calls and texts went unanswered. The last image caught by Stephen’s deer camera of Tiffany shows her leaving the area at 9:28 p.m.


Michael Valiante, Tiffany’s uncle, ultimately joined the search and found police officers along the railroad lines; a person had been struck by a train. The fatality occurred inside the jurisdiction of the New Jersey Transit Police Department, thus they have assumed responsibility for the investigation.

The next morning, Tiffany’s suicide was already reported in the newspaper. Her family vehemently opposes the accusation. On Unsolved Mysteries, Dianne Valiante states, “We were on a quest because we knew our daughter did not commit this.”

The senior and student engineers aboard the train first stated that Tiffany “dove in front of the locomotive,” but six days later, under oath, the senior engineer revised his statement and admitted he did not see Tiffany prior to the collision. Their descriptions of what occurred are, at best, conflicting.

The family believes Tiffany was slain prior to the train collision.


Puzzling Case Details:

  • Tiffany was apparently afraid of the dark, making it implausible that she walked four miles alone to the train lines.
  • The toxicology report revealed that Tiffany was free of drugs and alcohol.
  • Their shoes of Tiffany were not located at the site. When her remains were found, she was wearing only a sports bra and underpants.
  • Tiffany had recently split up with her partner, but there was no sign of animosity between them.
  • Three weeks after Tiffany’s death, her mother discovered her shoes and a white headband over two miles away from the location where her corpse was located.
  • Tiffany is walking down the driveway at the same moment as headlights from a car are captured by Steve’s deer camera. Photos released by the NJTPD reveal a significant pool of blood at the site where the train and Tiffany’s body collided, indicating that the body may have been placed there while bleeding before the locomotive impacted it.
  • A worker at a convenience shop reported that he overheard three colleagues discussing the case as a murder. He was allegedly told that Tiffany was abducted by three people she knew (two females and a guy) along the railroad lines, where she was stripped nude, threatened with a pistol, and humiliated. Each of the three employees denied ever having spoken.
  • The article adds a bit more information about the fight Tiffany had with her friend minutes before she went missing. A few months earlier, Tiffany had been caught by her parents taking money from their bank account. The article also notes that Dianne found out Tiffany was lying about using her friend’s credit card when “she saw [Tiffany] slip the card into her back pocket.”
  • NJ Transit detectives lost an ax with “red markings” found near the crash site before it could be tested.
    In March 2022, it was discovered that the remaining evidence in Tiffany’s case had been stored improperly by police, “making it all but worthless for a new round of DNA testing.”
  • In 2014, child protection officials paid three separate visits to the Valiante home after a teacher noticed bruising on Tiffany’s arm. Per the Daily Beast, Dianne admitted to having caused the bruise by punching Tiffany after an argument.
  • Six months before her death, Tiffany came out as gay. “Some of the other girls in school wanted to ‘experiment’ with her,” Valiante family lawyer Paul D’Amato said to the Daily Beast. “Which may have upset certain girls, and also certain guys.”
  • A classmate heard that Tiffany sent a text to a friend on the night of her death that read “Just answer yes or no: should I do it?”
    A few of Tiffany’s friends told investigators that she had harmed herself, intentionally cutting her wrist and her leg on two separate occasions.
  • The friend Tiffany was arguing with before her death wrote a speech for Tiffany’s funeral, and “brought over mementos of Tiffany for Dianne.” But two weeks later, the Valiante family blocked the friend’s phone number and kicked her mom off their property when she showed up to find out what was going on. The friend said she never received an explanation as to why she was suddenly iced out.
  • In regards to the convenience store worker who allegedly overheard three teens talking about the case, each teen seemed “flummoxed by what they considered to be nothing short of an outlandish tale” when questioned by the police. “None of them had any idea what the manager was talking about, and each appeared to have an airtight alibi.”


More Unsolved Theories: