Over twenty-five years ago, on October 24, 1997, the remains of an unidentified woman washed ashore in Manistee, Michigan.
The woman was five foot eleven, weighed two hundred pounds, and had an appendectomy scar as well as pierced ears.
Aside from these details, though, little was known about her true identity. Autopsy reports revealed that she had died “weeks” before discovery and was between twenty and sixty years old.
But, investigators could not determine her race or any other characteristics that could definitively identify the woman.
Well, that was until just a few weeks ago when advanced DNA technology finally closed the case.
In December, the Michigan State Police partnered with the DNA Doe Project– a “non-profit initiative that uses investigative genetic genealogy”– in hopes of identifying the unknown victim.
Back in 1997, this feat was impossible– since no DNA test revealed any answers and no local missing person’s reports matched.
In turn, the woman’s case ultimately remained cold until two years ago, when forensic investigators decided to exhume the remains and have them tested again.
“There are things we are doing today that we couldn’t do even five years ago,” said Michigan State Police Lieutenant Derrick Carroll.