- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

HARLAN, Ky. (AP) - Authorities are hoping that technology can help them identify the remains of a woman found more than 40 years ago on Pine Mountain.

The Harlan Daily Enterprise (http://bit.ly/1Cb0CGP) reports her remains were exhumed recently and her bones were sent to a Texas lab that tests DNA for NamUs, a branch of the U.S. Department of Justice which keeps databases of information on missing and unidentified persons.

Todd Matthews, who is the director of communications and case management for NamUs, says a book by local author Darla Jackson called “Harlan County Haunts” helped bring about the latest effort to identify the remains.

“The book by Darla is what brought the case to my attention years ago,” Matthews said. “I interviewed her on a radio show I was doing at that time.”

Matthews said he hopes the DNA testing will help authorities identify the woman, who was stabbed to death, sometime this year and possibly even help police develop a suspect in her slaying.

He said there are three possible outcomes to sending off a DNA sample.

“One, DNA from remains will match in direct comparison to one of the missing persons FRS (family reference) samples already in the system. The NamUs system is capable of flagging cases with similar biometric, chronological and geographic similarities.

“Two, we might get a cold hit in CODIS to a missing person we do not know about. Other agencies can submit family reference samples into CODIS. It could hit to a case with family reference samples in CODIS in which we are not yet aware.

“Three, we wait - and hope that someone will come forward and make a missing persons report or submit a sample of a missing person not yet reported to any agency. We still need to remind families to make certain your missing loved one is in NamUs. If it’s not in NamUs we might not be aware of your situation.”

___

Information from: Harlan Daily Enterprise, http://www.harlandaily.com

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide