MONROE (WWJ/AP) – Monroe County authorities say a body that washed ashore along Lake Erie more than 30 years ago has recently been identified as that of a missing Indiana woman last seen in the Chicago area.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement Friday that the death of Kimberly A. Wuerthele of Portage was classified as a homicide. Her body was found March 31, 1982, in the Monroe area, near the Edison Power Plant on Lake Erie, near Toledo.
Wuerthele was 21 when she was last seen Feb. 26, 1982, as she jumped from the family’s car in Chicago while the family was trying to get her help from an addiction problem.
An autopsy at that time wasn’t able to determine cause of death, which was ruled a suicide. According to Sheriff’s officials, authorities attempted to identify the Jane Doe with no success. The body was then buried.
Authorities said in 2009, the body was exhumed and a DNA sample was taken. Then, just this month, an identification was made using a database and DNA testing that wasn’t available back in 1982.
A murder investigation is now under way.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office asks anyone with information about the disappearance and or murder of Kimberly Wuerthele to contact the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau at 734-240-7530 or Detective Jeff Pauli at 734-240-7745.
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