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Nonprofit to conduct DNA, genealogical testing on woman found dead in Sandusky in 1980

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Posted at 11:09 AM, Nov 29, 2021

SANDUSKY, Ohio — The body of an unidentified woman who was found dead on the beach near Cedar Point Road in Sandusky in 1980 will undergo DNA and genetic genealogic testing in an attempt to identify her, according to a news release from The Porchlight Project.

On March 30, 1980, the partially-decomposed body of the woman was discovered on the beach, states the release from the non-profit organization that offers funding for DNA and genealogy testing for Ohio cold cases.

“Back in 1980 Erie County Jane Doe and her loved ones were victimized,” said Porchlight Project board member Nic Edwards. “They continue to be victimized to this very day. I believe that somewhere there is family that has been deceived and led to believe that she did not want them in her life. That is not true. She has been here, waiting for forty years to be given a name so that her loved ones can be located and notified. I look forward to identifying this Jane Doe and finally providing answers to those who have waited for so long.”

For the testing, the project will contract with Body Technology, which has tested more than 30,000 unidentified remains worldwide.

“We are thankful for the opportunity to support The Porchlight Project and the Sandusky Police Department in researching and investigating the identity of Erie County Jane Doe,” said Teresa Vreeland, Director of Forensic Genealogy Services at Bode. “We hope that our work helps in preventing tomorrow’s victim.”

The Sandusky Police Department is also joining the effort to identify the woman, who is described as a Caucasian aged 20 to 30, about 5-feet-5-inches tall and 120 pounds in weight, the release states. She was wearing a size 12 “disco-style” dress, and no hair, scars, jewelry or identifying items were found on or around her.

“We hope to be able to bring closure to a woman’s family who have lived far too long without knowing the whereabouts of their loved one,” said Lt. Scott Dahlgreen with Sandusky police. “Our agency hopes that we can now bring a sense of closure and comfort to them. This is a great partnership and we hope for a positive outcome with identifying Jane Doe.”

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