Investigators still trying to solve 1967 cold case mystery

Published: Jan. 16, 2021 at 4:14 PM EST
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BLENDON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Investigators hope a social media site and sophisticated testing can help them get closer to identifying the remains of a woman found in western Michigan in 1967.

A judge last summer allowed the Ottawa County sheriff’s office to exhume remains that were buried at a cemetery in Blendon Township. The woman’s body, likely 16 to 22 years old, was discovered by hunters more than 50 years ago.

A second autopsy revealed a broken jaw, likely suffered at the time of death, WOOD-TV reported.

The embalming process used in the 1960s has made extracting DNA difficult, Capt. Mark Bennett said.

The sheriff’s department has reached out to private companies to try to overcome the problem.

“We’re in the process of looking at that endeavor to see, A, what would be the cost of it? Two, what would be the percentage, or possible rate of success, in making that identification?” Bennett said.

He said investigators also are building a social media site to gather tips from the public. Anyone with information can call (616) 738-4022.

“If we could at least give a family some closure as to what happened to their loved one, that’s always a plus for us,” Bennett said.

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