Almost 37 years ago, Marcia King disappeared from her home in Arkansas. Since then, her mother has lived each day hoping that she would find out what happened to her daughter.
She has stayed in the same house, and has retained her old phone number for almost four decades – in the hope that one day her daughter might return home. In early April 2018 she found out the truth.
On April 24, 1981, police found a body in a ditch alongside a road in Ohio. Her hair was braided and she was wearing a distinctive deerskin pullover which was why she got the nickname “Buckskin Girl”.
She was dead less than two days before her body was found. She died of strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head. The woman had no socks, shoes, bags or any form of identification.
Detectives were unable to identify her and the case went cold – until now.
The continuous investigation for who this girl was included 37 years of identification efforts, such as new facial imaging, pollen studies on her clothes and isotope studies on her hair, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
Marcia King’s DNA was obtained through a stored blood sample and put on a public genealogy database. Investigators had never given up hope of identifying “Buckskin Girl.” They used blood from the 1981 autopsy report and matched it with missing people.
After new DNA techniques were used it turned out that the young woman found all those years ago was in fact Marcia King.
“The identification of the victim is critical in advancing the investigation toward finding the person or persons responsible for this crime,” Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak, said in a statement, according to ABC News.
King’s family has been notified and they have requested privacy, the sheriff’s office said. Her mother is said to be looking to replace her Jane Doe headstone with one bearing her name.
Authorities are now focused on finding the girl’s killer.
Her mom will never get back her beloved daughter, but maybe she can now finally lay her daughter to rest properly and put behind her all those painful years of uncertainty.
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