Woman killed in Arizona over 50 years ago could be identified through DNA

KINGMAN, Ariz. (KLAS) — Investigators could be closer to identifying a woman who was killed in Arizona over half a century ago thanks to DNA analysis.

The victim, known as Jane Doe, was found next to a dirt road two miles east of US Highway 93 on Hackberry Road outside of Kingman in 1971 and was never able to be identified, police said.

Her remains were found inside a white canvas sack that had been tied with a white cotton rope. The sack had “Deer-Pak Ames Harris Neville Co.” printed on it in green.

Her death was ruled a homicide. She was determined to be about 40 years old, 5 feet 4 inches tall, between 125 and 140 pounds, and with curly brown hair.

Officials said she was wearing a multi-colored long-sleeve blouse, a black cardigan sweater, and burnt orange stretch pants with a label that read, “Symphony. It’s what’s happening.”

The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office said a DNA profile was successfully composed for the woman, and the office has been working with a forensic genealogy laboratory to upload the profile into national databases.

The laboratory, Othram, Inc., had been seeking help from crowdfunding to continue examining her profile. Five days after the sheriff’s office asked for help raising money, the fundraising goal of $6,500 was reached.

With the funds, the lab will continue to upload the profile into databases to identify potential family members of the victim and help reveal her identity.

“We cannot thank the community enough for their support,” a Facebook post from the sheriff’s office partially read.

Early in the investigation, her fingerprints were sent to the FBI, and records of her dental work were checked against thousands of patient files, according to the lab. A portrait of her was sketched and missing persons reports from Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah were checked.

No leads were found and the case went cold, though her genetic profile could help establish her identity or the identity of a close relative.

Anyone with information about her identity or the incident is encouraged to contact the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigation Unit at 928-753-0753 ext. 4408 or at 800-522-4312 and referencing case DR#71-0383.

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