DNA, genealogy research identifies Michigan Jane Doe

New DNA testing research has allowed police to identify a woman’s body found in Ohio about 43...
New DNA testing research has allowed police to identify a woman’s body found in Ohio about 43 years ago.(WNEM)
Published: Apr. 4, 2023 at 4:37 PM EDT
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SANDUSKY, Ohio (WNEM) – New DNA testing technology has allowed police to identify a woman’s body found in Ohio about 43 years ago.

On March 30, 1980, the partially decomposed body of a woman was discovered on a beach near Cedar Point Road in Sandusky, according to the Porchlight Project.

The organization said the woman, now identified as at Patricia Greenwood of Michigan, was determined to be between 20 to 30-years-old, about 5′5″ and about 120 pounds. They said she was wearing a “disco style” dress, and no hair, scars, or identifying items were found on her body.

The Porchlight Project, which is a nonprofit that funds DNA testing for cold cases in Ohio, offered to fund the cold case effort in 2021 to discover Greenwood’s identity.

Det. Eric Costante with the Sandusky Police said that the Bode Forensic Genealogy team received skeletal remains of Greenwood in late 2021 and began the long process of extracting DNA. The forensic team then used public databases and evidentiary information to create one very strong lead for the Sandusky Police Department regarding the case, Costante said.

The genealogy work done by the forensic team revealed that Greenwood was one of 12 children from the same family who were given up for adoption in Michigan, Costante said.

He said he spoke to one of Greenwood’s surviving brothers, who said he had not heard from Greenwood since around the time her body was found. Costante also spoke with one of Greenwood’s sisters, who suggested that Greenwood may have been a sex worker at the time of her disappearance.

The Porchlight Project said police confirmed Greenwood’s identity on March 30, 2023, 43 years to the day after her body was discovered. The organization said her death is considered a possible homicide and police are releasing her identity in the hopes that someone from Ohio or Michigan may remember who she was seen with around the time of her disappearance.

“Det. Eric Costante and the Sandusky Police Department never gave up on this victim, even after all of these years. Now it is time for the public to come together and provide information about Patricia Greenwood to the detectives. Patricia needs your help,” Porchlight Project board member Nic Edwards said.

Anyone with information about Patricia Greenwood is asked to contact the Sandusky Police at 419-627-5980.

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