The Butler County Coroner’s Office and West Chester Twp. Police say they have positively identified the remains of a woman found in 2015.
A press conference has been called for Thursday afternoon to announce the findings.
The Butler County Coroner’s Office said previously that skeletal remains and a biological profile were used to generate the image of Jane Doe in the summer of 2015.
“They say a picture is worth a thousand words,” said Dr. Lisa Mannix, the Butler County coroner, when announcing the formulation of the image in June 2015. “It does make it more personal. Glasses are just glasses, but looking at a face makes it about a person.”
The coroner said at the time she was hopeful the image “sparks a memory or a recollection.”
Children found a skull in the woods behind their Gregory Creek Lane home in West Chester Twp. on March 7, 2015. Rain and snow made finding additional remains difficult, Mannix said. But when the weather cleared, all of the woman’s remains were collected, along with other items believed to have belonged to her.
There were no forms of identification with or around the remains. It is believed the woman was in the West Chester Twp. area in late fall 2014, according to the coroner’s office.
The facial reconstruction images, along with photos of her belongings, are now a part of NamUs (the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System), which is a national resource center for missing persons and unidentified decedent records. It is a free online system that can be searched by medical examiners, coroners, law enforcement officials and the general public.
“At this point, I can’t rule out foul play because we just don’t know what happened. The likelihood of finding out how she died is not good. But it is more important to find out who she is so that a family can have closure,” Mannix told the Journal-News. in 2015.
“You know, we think locally. But we have interstates, train tracks and a lot of other things that point to this not being a local,” she said.
After the remains were found, the coroner’s office developed a biological profile and determined the remains were those of a white woman between the ages of 35 and 60, who stood between 5-foot-3 and 5-foot-9 inches tall.
Strands of hair, medium brown with some gray, were found with the skull. And the woman had full upper and lower dentures. She was wearing Faded Glory-brand jeans, size 12, and a medium white, short-sleeved, pullover shirt with red and blue horizontal stripes. Prescription glasses and reading glasses were also found near the woman’s skeletal remains.
Evidence collected in the densely wooded area also suggests the woman was wearing black SAS brand shoes, Mannix said.
That distinctive brand of shoe is popular among people who walk a lot or are on their feet all day at work, she said. The black SAS (San Antonio Shoemakers) lace-up shoes were so worn, a size could not be determined, Mannix said.
A black fanny pack, containing lip balm, a disposable lighter, a small Swiss Army knife and scissors, that is believed to have belonged to the woman, may also be a clue to her identity. The fanny pack was inside a blue denim tote bag.
The woman’s DNA, taken during a preliminary testing, has been run through the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System with no hit returned. Additional, more detained DNA testing is underway at the University of North Texas, according to the coroner.
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