DNA identifies decades-old Miami County homicide victim

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February 07 2021 06:00 pm

TROY, Ohio (WDTN) – Officials in Miami County said Wednesday they have identified a murder victim from a 1981 cold case.

Authorities said they have identified a woman who was strangled to death and found beside Greenlee Road in April 1981 using ground-breaking DNA techniques.

The woman has been identified as 21-year-old Marcia King from Arkansas. Officials said investigators were able to use a stored blood sample from the case and confirmed the identity using samples from the family.

Dr. Elizabeth Murray, a Forensic Anthropologist with Mouont St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, said Wednesday in a news conference hat solving this case entailed, “some revolutionary and ground-breaking work.”

Murray said on April 24, 1981 the body of an unidentified woman was found along Greenlee Road and was estimated to be in her 20s. The woman was wearing a distinctive coat, according ot investigators, that led to her being referred to as “Buckskin Girl.”

Murray said the cause of death was determined to be strangulation and blunt-force trauma to her head. The case was ruled a homicide and has been an active investigation for the Miami County Sheriff’s Office since that time.

In 2001 the Miami Valley Crime Lab developed a nuclear DNA profile on Jane Doe, according to Murray. A mitochondrial DNA and a second nuclear DNA profile was developed in 2009 at the University of North Texas DNA Lab.

Murray said the woman was one of the first cases to be entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) in 2008.

Dr. Murray said she went on a sabbatical from her work at the university and worked on this and other cold cases involving unidentified remains.

Final confirmation was made this week by the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab.

Investigators are still asking for the publics’ help to determine a timeline surrounding the murder and say the homicide investigation is still ongoing.

If you know anything about this case you can submit a tip online on the Miami County Sheriff’s website.

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