- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

FREMONT, Calif. (AP) - Bones found in the San Francisco Bay Area are those of a Swedish exchange student who disappeared more than 30 years ago, authorities said Monday.

The U.S. Department of Justice matched seven bones discovered in a canyon in Fremont five years ago to Elisabeth Martinsson, 21, who was going to the College of Marin and living with a family in nearby Greenbrae when she disappeared on Jan. 17, 1982, coroner’s officials said.

Federal officials used dental records to identify the remains in November, Alameda County sheriff’s Sgt. Patricia Wilson, an investigator in the coroner’s division, told the Marin Independent-Journal (https://bayareane.ws/1Bmsjcu ).

No cause of death was determined, Wilson said, and Martinsson’s remains were cremated and will be sent to her family in Uddevalla, a Swedish town about 50 miles from the Norwegian border.

Her identity was released this week after a Swedish newspaper inquired about the case, authorities said.

Martinsson disappeared after going to a store in the Volkswagen Rabbit she borrowed from the family she was living with.

Ten days later, a 31-year-old convicted rapist was found with the car in Oklahoma. The man, Henry Coleman of Los Angeles, was wanted on a robbery warrant out of California. He was convicted of auto theft and sentenced to five years in prison, but he was never charged with Martinsson’s death.

Coleman told investigators he had bought the car from a man he met at a bar in San Francisco.

Marin County sheriff’s officials and Fremont police have requested more tests from the Department of Justice, sheriff’s Lt. Jamie Scardina said.

Scardina said sheriff’s cold-case investigators are trying to determine if Coleman is still alive. If so, they want to question him about the case, he said.


Information from: Marin Independent Journal, https://www.marinij.com

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