Non-profit conducting DNA test on unidentified woman found in Erie County in 1980

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 10:30 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 29, 2021 at 11:07 AM EST
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ERIE COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - A non-profit organization is conducting DNA testing, hoping to identify the body of a woman found on a bear over 40 years ago

The Porchlight Project is now working with Bode Technology for new DNA testing and genetic genealogy to try and learn the victim’s identity.

“We’re very happy to be able to help the Sandusky police department,” Nic Edwards, a board member of the Porchlight Project, said.

The body of a woman, later given the name of “Jane Doe”, was found on a beach near Cedar Point Road in Sandusky on March 30, 1980.

Investigators determined she was white, between the ages of 20-30 and estimated to be about 5′5″ tall and 120 pounds. She was also wearing a size 12 “disco style” dress.

Erie County Jane Doe was wearing this dress when found in 1980.
Erie County Jane Doe was wearing this dress when found in 1980.((Source: Porchlight Project))

Investigators added she had no scars, jewelry or other identifying items on her.

“The Sandusky Police Department is excited to work with the Porchlight Project along with Bode Technology,” said Sandusky Police Lt. Scott Dahlgren. “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. Our agency hopes that we can now bring a sense of closure and comfort to them. This is a great partership and we hope for a positive outcome with identifying Jane Doe.”

Edwards is also confident on what his team will be able to find. As the DNA analysis is still underway, the potential identity of Jane Doe will have to wait a little longer.

“I’m very confident we’ll find a name for Jane Doe, who’s been waiting 40 years for us to give her a name,” he said.

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