Authorities in Ohio are a major step closer to solving a 37-year-old cold case involving the mysterious murder of the so-called “Buckskin Girl,” according to new reports.
The woman, whose reddish-brown hair was done in braids, got her nickname because of the fringed buckskin jacket she was wearing when her body was found in a ditch in Troy on April 24, 1981, according to the Dayton Daily News.
Her real name is Marcia L. King, a 21-year-old from Arkansas.
For decades, investigators worked on identifying King, using new technology including facial images generated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, doing studies of the pollen found on her clothes and conducting hair analyses, the Troy Daily News reported.
But a break in the case came when investigators teamed up with the DNA Doe Project, a nonprofit founded in 2017, which analyzed DNA that had been kept in storage since 1981.
“Law enforcement never forgets,” said Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak at a press conference Wednesday. “We’ve had a long journey to where we are today.”
King was dead for less than two days before her body was found and investigators believe she was in the Louisville, Kentucky, and Pittsburgh areas before she was killed.
She died of strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head. She was fully clothed at the time but had no socks, shoes, bag or identification on her.
King’s family has been notified — but they wish to remain confidential.
“They requested that be respected,” said Duchak.
Chief Deputy Steve Lord said King’s mother has long hoped her daughter’s murder would be solved. Now, she plans to replace the “Jane Doe” headstone on her daughter’s grave at Riverside Cemetery in Troy.
Authorities said they didn’t want to release too much information because the investigation into King’s murder is still active. No suspects have been identified but police are asking the public for any tips.