Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

Homicide victim found in wooded area near California highway in 1979 is identified

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun5,2024

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. (TCD) — Using forensic genetic genealogy, investigators recently identified a homicide victim whose skeletal remains were found in a wooded area nearly 45 years ago.

According to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, on Sept. 18, 1979, a couple hunting discovered skeletal remains near Highway 175. In a news release, Othram Inc., a forensic genealogy company, said investigators concluded the victim was a female between 25 and 35 years old when she died sometime between 1976 and 1979. The case went cold, and she became a Jane Doe.

Officials reportedly entered Jane Doe’s details into the National Missing and Unidentified Person System in June 2019, and her DNA was submitted to Othram several years later to help identify the victim. Othram scientists developed a comprehensive DNA profile for Jane Doe and sent investigative leads to the sheriff’s office.

According to deputies, investigators found a possible relative in January, but they weren’t able to make a positive identification. Then, in March, officials reportedly found another possible relative. The sheriff’s office said the potential family member told them their grandmother had two sisters and one of them disappeared in the 1970s. In April, following additional interviews and DNA testing, investigators identified the victim as Wanda Brewer.

According to Othram, Brewer was born in Arkansas but later moved to California. The investigation into her death is ongoing.

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Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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