Identity of Ohio's 'Buckskin Girl' finally discovered 37 years later

'Buckskin Girl' identified

On April 24, 1981, a 21-year-old woman was found strangled to death along a road in Miami County, Ohio.

Investigators confirmed her identity Monday through DNA.

Dr. Elizabeth Murray, a forensic anthropologist with Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, said the case involved "groundbreaking" work through the nonprofit DNA Doe Project to apply genetic genealogy to the identification of unknown persons.

"The identification of the victim is critical in advancing the investigation towards finding the person or persons responsible for this crime", the Miami County Sheriff's Office said. She was found clothed, wearing bell-bottom blue jeans, a brown turtleneck sweater with an orange crisscross design on the front, and a handmade tan buckskin pullover jacket with leather fringe around the seams and a deep purple lining.

King's killer has never been found, but authorities say the case will move forward now that the victim has been identified.

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DNA profiles of the victim had been developed through the Miami Valley Regional crime lab in 2001 and through a DNA lab at the University of North Texas in 2009.

"They were hopeful Marcia was going to come home, however they're learning at this date that that's not going to happen", Lord said.

"The case has remained assigned to a detective as an active investigation since the victim was discovered", the news release states. In summing up the long investigation, Sheriff Dave Duchak told the Dayton Daily News that "Law enforcement never forgets". "We've had a long journey to where we are today". At best, it is known that King had some connections to the cities of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Louisville, Kentucky. Speaking Wednesday, Miami County Sheriff Steve Lord said he has been in touch with the victim's family, who have been cooperative.

The Miami County Sheriff's Office used new technology and investigative techniques over the years, trying to solve the mystery: a new facial image generated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in February 2016; pollen studies on her clothing by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency in April 2016; and stable isotope studies on her hair in June 2016 in an effort to trace the her location and geographic movements in the last year of life. "After thirty-seven years, the body of the "#Buckskin Girl" has been identified.

"Buckskin Girl" was one of those cases.

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