DNA identifies woman found wearing a “disco style” dress after 43 years
For 43 years, the identity of a woman whose partially decomposed body washed ashore on Lake Erie was unknown.
And then on March 30, the exact day her body was discovered more than four decades earlier, the woman wearing a “disco style” dress was finally identified. Her name was Patricia Greenwood, said the City of Sandusky Police Department.
“We were able to put a real name to our Jane Doe,” Det. Eric Costante told CBS affiliate WOIO.
The cold case had haunted the Sandusky, Ohio, police department until technology advanced enough to extract DNA from the body’s skeletal remains and build a familial tree to trace the identity of the woman.
Porchlight Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding DNA testing for Ohio cold cases offered to fund the necessary testing, the group said on its website.
Using the raised funds, Costante sent a tissue sample to Bode Technology, a forensic laboratory that works closely with the nonprofit, Porchlight Project said on their website.
Greenwood had addresses in several Michigan towns, including Traverse City, Bay City, and Saginaw, according to police. She was from a family of 12 children who were all given up for adoption all throughout the state of Michigan, police said.
Surviving siblings told investigators Greenwood may have been a sex worker. Greenwood was “transient by nature” and gone “for long periods of time,” Costante told WOIO. She was 32 years old when she disappeared, police said.
Police are considering Greenwood’s death a possible homicide.
“She had significant injuries to the right side of her body, including a broken femur and pelvis,” Costante told WOIO. “Our next steps are to try and find out what indeed happened to her.”