Possible Missouri connection to unidentified woman killed in Oregon 23 years ago

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Photo Courtesy Washington State Patrol

LONGVIEW, Wash. (KPTV) — Investigators in Washington State are attempting to identify the last unidentified person buried in Cowlitz County, and it’s possible the woman could be from Missouri.

Nearly 23 years after the unidentified woman was killed in a fiery crash while riding in a semi, her remains have been exhumed from an unmarked grave at the Longview Memorial Park and Cemetery in Washington state.

According to KPTV, FOX 12 in Oregon, the woman was killed in May 1991 when she was riding in a semi on Interstate 5 near Kalama, Oregon. Police said the driver, Lester Harbol, slammed into the back of a second semi that was stopped for roadway construction.

The truck burst into flames, destroying any identification she may have been carrying. Harbol was also killed.

Harbol had driven from Missouri and just dropped a load off in Tacoma. Police told Seattle station KCPQ that he had a girlfriend back in Missouri.

Photos: Woman’s body exhumed 23 years after deadly crash

Washington State Patrol detectives have attempted to identify her through the years, but without definitive success.

Now, her remains have been sent to King County for facial reconstruction by a forensic anthropologist. From there, they will go to the University of Northern Texas for DNA extraction and entry into DNA databases.

“This is somebody’s sister, somebody’s daughter who has been unidentified now for over 22 years as a result of a motor vehicle collision and the Washington State Patrol would like to identify who this person is so we can notify the family,” Washington State Patrol Detective Greg Wilcoxson told KPTV.

 

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6 comments

    • Maureen Sanchez

      you would be amazed at how long things take. After 30 years, there was a dental, then DNA comparison called for my sister – with a highly publicized case in NYC – the midtown Jane Doe. The Doe did not produce any DNA, so they are now using different DNA sampling – but because of 9/11/01 (yes, 12 and a half years ago), the office of the medical examiner is slammed with identifications of body parts. What you see on TV vs. how Law Enforcement works is pretty disparate. My sister has been missing for 33 years – and the state where she went missing won’t even file a missing persons report for her! It’s getting better – but if you went missing in the 80s, there was all kinds of red tape, plus there was no national repository for the information. Precincts hoard information because they want the glory. This is across state lines – no reason that MO would think that OR would have their case — until now, with the dawn of NAMUS (www.findthemissing.org and http://www.identifyus.org) Now to get all precincts to use it!!

    • Suzan Clark

      (FYI) Angela Hammond went missing from Clinton, Missouri April 4, 1991
      On January 19,1991, forty-two-year-old Trudy Darby was working alone in a convenience store. She called her son to report a suspicious man loitering outside. Trudy’s son hurried to the store but found it deserted after just ten minutes. Two days later, Trudy was found on a riverbank ten miles from the store. She had been fatally shot twice in the head.

      About a month later, 30-year-old Cheryl Ann Kenney was reported missing in Nevada, Missouri, roughly 70 miles from where the body of Trudy Darby had been found. On February 28, 1991, Cheryl Ann had also vanished from a convenience store where she worked. She has not been seen since. Then, less than one month after that, Angie Hammond was abducted.
      http://www.unsolved.com/ajaxfiles/mis_angela_hammond.htm

  • Maureen Sanchez

    Angels – all of the people who seek to give back names to the nameless, who are unable to speak it for themselves. Those who fight to find the daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, whose fate and whereabouts haunt families for decades. THANK YOU to whoever made the connection. Thank you to the people who never gave up. I know that there are angels working with me and my sister, and I will not give up until I find *her* (her facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LookingForJudy/ ) I’m happy that the family might be able to finally grieve this young woman.

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