Non-profit wants DNA test for unknown woman found with throat slashed 31 years ago in Detroit

Woman's identity still unknown after 1987 murder case goes cold


DETROIT – Missing in Michigan, a non-profit group, is making a push to solve a 31-year-old cold case murder of a young woman who was never identified.

A sketch generated from crime scene photos shows the likeness of a woman believed to have been between 18 and 28 years old. Police want to do expensive ancestry DNA testing, the same kind that caught the man believed to be the Golden State Killer and solved two other decades-old murders in Indiana and Ohio.

A body turned up Feb. 10, 1987, at a recycling center on Harper Avenue in Detroit. It was a young woman and recent mother who'd had her throat slashed and body tossed in a dumpster.

"How did this not get solved?" asked Sarah Krebs, of Missing In Michigan. "Gorgeous up-to-date haircut like she could have been a model. Left in this trash heap."

The case immediately went cold, so the woman was buried with no name and no justice.

"How do you solve a homicide not knowing who the victim is?" Krebs asked.

Four years ago, the woman's body was exhumed to collect DNA with no luck in the police database. Now, Missing in Michigan is pushing for a new genealogy DNA sample.

"We basically have a 100 percent chance that if we put Jane Doe's profile in a genealogy site, we're going to get a hit on a relative," Krebs said.

Missing in Michigan hopes that will cause the pieces of the puzzle to fall into place.

"I'm hoping that once we identify her that it's going to involve a suspect," Krebs said. "It's going to give us a story and a starting line to solve her homicide. This is really exiciting for us. It's definitely the way we're going to solve crimes in the future."

The test will cost $3,500 just to solve her identity. 

You can visit the Missing In Michigan Association donation page for the test here.

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