Continued from page 1

“Often you find out who someone is by eliminating who they are not,” Matthews said.

Investigators also have tapped the National Crime Information Computer; the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, known as VICAP; multiple tribal police departments; and the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. All those wells ran dry, Winn said.

“We’re at a dead end,” he said.

The remains have been sent to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification in Fort Worth. The center is a project of the National Institute of Justice, which helps law enforcement officials with missing persons and unidentified remains cases.

Dixie Peters, the technical leader for the missing persons unit at the center, said technicians will try to pull DNA from any remains sent by law enforcement. Peters couldn’t speak directly about the Kentucky case, but she said once a DNA profile is available, it will be compared to all other cases in the system. But getting a match requires a family member or friend to come forward with a sample to put in the database, Peters said.

“The only way we’re going to make a comparison is if we actually have something to compare it to,” Peters said.

How long such a search will take is “the million dollar question,” Peters said. While the center has no backlog for testing in cases of unidentified remains, it could take up to three months to extract DNA and run the results through the various databases, Peters said.

Winn, who works out of the state police Bowling Green post, is hoping someone remembers seeing or meeting the woman or that a relative comes forward. Winn is speaking in some detail about the case now, saying investigators have run out of leads and hoping that something about the woman or the circumstances brings in tips.

A DNA match may be the only way to solve the mystery.

“We’re at a crossroads,” Winn said. “We’ve had no luck.”