Anatomy of a Cold Case
More than nine years ago, a forensic anthropologist was called to a creek bed where hunters in Henry County, Ky., had just found the skeletal remains of a body. Handing up bone shards to other investigators, Emily Craig could see the victim had been shot in the head.
Authorities got lucky a year or two later, when a man who’d been pressured into helping dispose of the body told a local state police detective about the two men and a woman who’d committed the murder one July night in 1998 in order to get hold of the victim’s drug stash, recounts the New York Times. But the killers didn’t know the Latino victim’s last name, and weren’t sure of his first name, so even after they were convicted in December 2002, the earthly remains of the man investigators called “Juan Doe” were still kept on a shelf in a plastic evidence tub.
Ten days ago, due to the efforts of volunteers and the increasing availability of information about crimes on the Internet, an elderly woman in Freer, Texas, named Zeferina Garcia opened her door to find an an investigator from the local sheriff’s department standing there. Her son, he told her, had been murdered in Kentucky in 1998.
Back in Kentucky, Emily Craig had one final task to complete before closing the case, the Times reports. “She drew a pen line across John Doe, and, very carefully, printed the name: Miguel Garcia.”