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Mother Spends 37 Years Waiting for Missing Daughter to Return. But Cops Had Body All Along

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The word “poignant” comes from a scrap of Latin that means “to sting” or “to pierce.” It isn’t hard to understand why when you consider the case of Marcia King’s mother.

Understand that, for 37 years, King’s mother lived with the hope that she might see her daughter again. In 1981, King went missing, and over the nearly four decades since, her mother did everything she could to ensure that she could potentially find her one day.

In addition to cooperating with authorities, she stayed in the same house in Arkansas. She also never changed her phone number.

But news came forth this month that revealed a heartbreaking truth: King would never return home.

On April 24, 1981, authorities found a woman’s body in a ditch in Miami County Ohio. They could discern her sex and what killed her, but her identity remained a mystery.

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Experts attempted computer-assisted facial construction, ran isotope tests on her hair, and even examined the pollen on her clothes. But it was all for naught — at least until the advent of the DNA Doe Project.

This nonprofit sorts through public DNA databases in an attempt to match missing persons with potential blood relatives.

“This is not your run of the mill ‘DNA solves unidentified person,’” forensic anthropologist Dr. Elizabeth Murray told CBS News.

The dead woman, who’d become known as Buckskin Girl due to the clothing she was wearing at the time of her death, was a perfect candidate for the DNA Doe Project. And when she went through the system, there was a match.

Buckskin Girl turned out to be none other than Marcia King, a discovery that must have simultaneously heartened and hurt her family. They had closure of both the best and worst kind.

Police, though, seem heartened by the discovery, thrilled that they can move a case once thought dead toward finding King’s killer.

“The identification of the victim is critical in advancing the investigation toward finding the person or persons responsible for this crime,” Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak explained to ABC News.

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Murray also believes that the DNA Doe Project could help other missing persons. “I said, ‘I have the cases, if you have the technology.’”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Education
Wheaton College
Location
Florida
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith, Travel




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