The remains of a 14-year-old girl who went missing more than five decades ago were identified Tuesday in northeastern Pennsylvania, according to state police.
The late teenager, revealed to be Joan Marie Dymond of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., went missing back in June of 1969. Officials believe she died the same year. Patrick Dougherty, commanding officer of Pennsylvania State Police Troop P, said the body finally being identified has opened an investigation. Foul play is suspected.
“We never stopped pursuing answers, and this investigation remains very active,” Dougherty said in a statement. “After 53 years, the family of Joan Marie Dymond very much deserves closure. We will do everything in our power to see that they have it.”
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Dymond’s body was first unearthed back in November of 2012 but it took over a decade to identify. It was discovered by people digging for relics in a trash-filled depression on a former coal-mining operation in Newport Township.
Identifying the body was no easy task. Family members of Dymond provided DNA samples, and the tests only recently confirmed that the remains were hers.
According to the Times Leader, Dymond was the daughter of George F. Dymond and his wife, Anne Rose. George Dymond died in 1984, while Anne Rose Dymond died in 2000.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children released a likeness of the girl based on facial reconstruction images. Investigators sent the victim’s DNA profile to national databases but got no matches. With the rise of investigative genetic genealogy – using direct-to-consumer DNA databases to identify victims and perpetrators of violent crimes – the Luzerne Foundation launched a “Closing Cases” fund, citing the Aden Mountain “Jane Doe.”
Contributing: The Associated Press.