(CNN) – An apparent murder victim has been buried in a Michigan cemetery for five decades.
The Jane Doe was in an unmarked grave with no headstone. Investigators are now hoping to identify her and change that.
Black and white newspaper clippings from 53 years ago talk about the body found by a father, pheasant hunting with his 14-year-old son in a field near 52nd and Fillmore.
Dan Reister, Discovered Body In 1967. Reister was that 14-year-old.
He says he hadn’t thought about that day over the last 5 decades, until now.
“Yeah, the smell. Cause I had to go check the smell out,” he said.
Wednesday, volunteers with heavy equipment dug up the grave of the unknown named victim in the case, who cold case detectives would eventually refer to as “Jenny.”
She was between the ages of 16 and 22 when she was killed. Investigators say she died from blunt force trauma and strangulation.
Her body dumped in the field.
“We walked in about, probably 20 yards, where the body was. It wasn’t that far from the road. Somebody had laid her down, like she was comfortable or something,” he said.
Five decades later, with no name and no real answers, cold case detectives requested the exhumation.
“As an investigator, there’s a level of excitement that you can maybe further the case. Get some ID of the victim, maybe work to the ends of solving the case,” said Capt. Mark Bennett of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office.
Anthropologist from Michigan State University were on hand at the cemetery, extracting the DNA. The information will be put into various genealogy databases to try to match the victim with other family members and come up with a name.
Solving this case is one priority.
Putting a name with the victim and perhaps giving a family the chance to get answers to questions they may have given up on years ago is another.
“It would be nice. Somebody loved her,” said Reister.
Detectives warn identifying the body is likely to be a long process.
They’re expecting it to take months.
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