- Associated Press - Friday, January 24, 2014

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi authorities have now identified skeletal remains found in the Stennis Space Center buffer zone more than 10 years ago as those of a woman who had been living in New Iberia, La.

Hancock County sheriff’s Detective John Luther tells The Sun Herald (https://bit.ly/1g80nDt) Mary Asenath Woodin, 45, had been assaulted and set on fire. Luther says her burned skeleton was found May 10, 2003 north of Stennis off Mississippi 607.

The cause of Woodin’s death has not been released.

Luther said confirmation of her identity solves only half of a cold-case murder.

“We still don’t know who killed her,” he said.

“So much time has gone by and a lot of the initial case file was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. We really need to hear from anyone who can help us figure it out.”

Woodin may have been just passing through the area when she was killed, Luther said. “We have no information that she was living here locally,” he said.

Her remains were sent to the Louisiana State University FACES Laboratory, where a forensic anthropologist reconstructed her facial features for a picture. The picture was added to the Doe Network online database of missing and unidentified persons.

The case went cold until 2011, when Arthur Jones contacted a Tampa Bay Times reporter and said he hadn’t seen his sister in 11 years but recognized her from the picture on the website, Luther said.

Sheriff’s investigators in Polk County, Fla., obtained DNA from the brother and from her son, Thomas Woodin, but comparisons were inconclusive. DNA from her mother, Asenath Jones, of Winter Haven, Fla., confirmed her identity.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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