Geneseo, N.Y. - The emotion in Livingston County Sheriff John York’s voice signals to listeners that the decision was not an easy one.
"I think we all realize what's right for us and what's right for the people around us and, it's time,” York said Tuesday afternoon.
The decision wasn’t easy because of how much his 44 years with the department mean to him.
“It's my life," said York. “I've spent as much time here as I've spent with my family. I've spent 44 years here, I've spent 44 years with my wife and I'm just proud to be a part of this, it's been an incredible honor.”
York was sworn in as sheriff in 1989 and he’ll complete his 24th year in that role before stepping aside for the winner of this November’s election. Only two other sheriffs in New York State have served their counties in that role longer.
Over those years Sheriff York said his motivation in each investigation remained the same, "Being able to say we've been able to bring closure and give justice to that victim's family."
The 1979 “Jane Doe” case is one that still eats at York. A young girl found shot and killed and dumped in a Caledonia cornfield has yet to be identified.