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Human Remains of Missing Washington Girl about 50 Years ago Found in Woods

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Human Remains of Missing Washington Girl about 50 Years ago Found in Woods

Washington Woods has been a treasure to many mysteries. And in a similar instance, human remains found around 50 years ago could be identified now. The humans remain has been ID’d to an Aberdeen girl- she has been disappeared from her home a few months earlier the remains were found.

As per officials, Anne Marie Lehman, 16, disappeared 50 years back and she would have been in her 60s this year, her identification could be established through confirming a match with her sister’s DNA.

But the story could gather much interest amongst residents as well officials. The resolve of the case shows how modern forensic technology and determined investigators will be able to solve coldest of cold cases. The match of the DNA samples has now inspired investigators to reach the reason for her death, said Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel.

As far as the story goes, on Aug. 18, 1971, a traveling father and his son stopped along the Redwood Highway in Josephine County to spend the night. When on the next morning they roamed around the nearby woods, they found the scattered skeletal remains of a young female.

At that moment, Josephine County sheriff’s investigators did their best in their capacity to know the identification of the body and the reason for her death. But, they struggled to do that, and with all other leads getting exhausted, the case was considered “inactive” and was put in the cold storage as unresolved as “Jane Doe – Josephine County 71-940.”

But, in recent times as the science and forensic capability advanced some cold case detectives reviewed the case and tried to identify the Jane Doe – Josephine County case. The process was initiated in 2004. Forensic artist Joyce Nagy could make a clay facial reconstruction of Jane Doe. She was given a nickname as “Jane Annie Doe.”

Then the investigators distributed the images all over the nation and loads of lead started to flow. And these leads are the only things which have kept the case active. And in 2016, forensic isotope analysis of Jane Annie Doe’s hair, teeth and bones showed that she was most likely from the northeast portion of the U.S. and migrated to the Pacific Northwest.

The new information along with the DNA samples was distributed, but it could not reach a conclusion.

In November 2018, retired Detective Sgt. Ken Selig got the news that her DNA samples have been shared with DNA Doe Project by Dr. Nici Vance of the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office and his office also was in the custody of her remains.

After months of study and research, Jane Annie Doe’s family could be tracked through DNA to relatives in England, New Zealand and Canada. Then it was early last month when Sgt. Selig got to know that a potential match was found with a sister living in Washington State. She agreed to provide her DNA samples and luckily it was matched.

It not only showed the advanced stage of forensic technology we have at our disposal but also showed the importance of projects like the DNA Doe Project.

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