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Ottawa County investigators hope DNA will solve 1967 cold case

The victim's body will be exhumed this week
Investigators in Ottawa County hope DNA can help solved a 1967 cold case.
Investigators in Ottawa County hope DNA can help solved a 1967 cold case.(National Center for Missing & Exploited Children)
Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 10:32 AM EDT
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OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - Investigators in Ottawa County are hoping possible DNA evidence will help them solve a 1967 cold case. They plan to exhume the murder victim’s body on Wednesday.

On October 20, 1967 hunters found the body of a partially nude black female in Blendon Township. An autopsy showed she died of blunt force trauma to the head and manual strangulation. The death was ruled a homicide. The victim was believed to have been between 16 and 22-years-old at the time of her death.

The woman’s body could not be identified. She was buried in an unidentified grave in the Blendon Cemetery. With no clues on how or why she died, the case grew cold.

Investigators in Ottawa County hope DNA will help solve a cold case from 1967.
Investigators in Ottawa County hope DNA will help solve a cold case from 1967.(National Center for Missing & Exploited Children)

In March of 2018, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case team entered what they knew about the case into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. But entering the info into the database yielded no further clues.

In June of this year, detectives obtained an order from the 58th District Court to exhume the victim’s body and try to obtain DNA evidence that could help solve the case. The body will be exhumed on July 29 and taken to a laboratory at Michigan State University for further investigation.

Investigators have assembled a team from the funeral home, the cemetery, the medical examiner’s office, a Michigan State Police human remains analyst, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children anthropology consultants, and Michigan State University to help in the case.

If you know anything that can help solve this case, you can call the Ottawa County Silent Observer at 1-877-88-SILENT or you can submit tips at MOSOTIPS.com.

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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