Evidence

With Help of Forensic Science, More Is Learned About Woman Found Dead 41 Years Ago


A young woman found dead in a Florida lake 41 years ago with a belt around her neck is still unidentified.

But a new round of recent studies, aided by major developments in forensic science since her body was exhumed for more testing in 1986, has given investigators hope that more may soon be known about the apparent crime victim, according to the New York Times (reg. req.) in a lengthy article.

Interdisciplinary cooperation has already provided more information about the dead woman than was previously known. She had been thought to be white or Native American, and between the ages of 17 and 24 at the time of her demise. However, new testing including isotope analysis, which provides details about an individual’s diet and environment, shows that she was from Greece.

This showed a potential connection to Tarpon Springs, along the state’s West Coast, north of Tampa, which has a large community of Greek-Americans, and resulted in an article last month in the National Herald, an international newspaper published in Greek, that included reconstructions of the woman’s face and clothing, aided by computer software.

“We’re all working together. That’s where it has changed dramatically,” software developer Ann H. Ross told the newspaper, referring to the “3D ID” program and the state of forensic science. She is an anthropology professor at North Carolina State University.

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