Merrybeth Hodgkinson has been wrapped in plastic and dumped in the woods for nearly 30 years. Now we know her name.

For nearly 30 years, a woman’s identity was found encased in plastic in the woods in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. difficult investigator. They only know her as “Don’t know Jane Doe“, A woman with brown hair, possibly 35 to 45 years old, and no more than 5 feet-2 tall.

But this week, detectives made a major breakthrough, identifying her as Merrybeth Hodgkinson, a 31-year-old exotic dancer who disappeared after a visit with family in Warminster, Pennsylvania in 1992.

“When we exhumed her body, there was an unidentified grave marker with the name Jane Doe,” said Bensalem detective Chris McMullin. announced the discovery on Tuesday. More than 50 missing women were reviewed and ultimately deemed a mismatch during the lengthy investigation.

“Now when she’s back with her family, they can put Merrybeth Hodgkinson in there,” he said.

The road to revealing who she is began on September 18, 1995, when children playing in a wooded area near a diner in Bensalem discovered Hodgkinson’s naked, decomposed body was wrapped in a plastic wrap. According to police, forensic experts estimated the time this woman could have been between two and three years.

Several clothing products, in addition to a pair of crosses — one silver, one gold — and a brown beaded seat cushion were found nearby, police said, but investigators were unable to find them. see any kind of identification. The Bucks County Coroner’s Office ruled the death a homicide after strangulation was suspected, although the exact cause of death has yet to be determined, they said.

A scarcity of clues confused detectives and the case cooled until McMullin revived it, and Hodgkinson’s body was exhumed from its resting place in a cemetery in Telford, Pennsylvania, on 2004.

“I was not satisfied with the initial investigation,” McMullin Talk to Bucks County Courier Times. “I feel like I can do more.”

Hodgkinson’s remains were sent to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification, where a DNA profile was extracted and uploaded to a DNA indexing system in an attempt to identify her.

But even with the DNA processed, Hodgkinson’s name eluded the stubborn detective for decades until a combination of genealogical checks and matches on the DNA pages finally revealed her identity. .

MicMullen said that with the help of forensic lab BODE Technology, investigators built a DNA profile of Hodgkinson. In November, her profile was uploaded to genealogy research websites GEDmatch and, which aggregate data from different DNA testing companies.

Additional research, led by Jennifer Moore, a Virginia genealogist, pinpointed Hodgkinson’s name in less than a week.

“The family tree led to a hit on GEDmatch, which led us to siblings,” McMullin said at a press conference Tuesday. according to KYW-TV.

Records combined with additional genetic testing from Hodgkinson’s siblings confirmed her identity, he added.

The discovery marks a major breakthrough in the cold case, but detectives are still searching for answers about Hodgkinson’s mysterious death. McMullin said Tuesday that police are sifting through other items found near her body for DNA fragments.

Follow Express delivery time, Hodgkinson’s death seems to reflect the murder of another strange dancer in the same year.

The strangled and strangled body of 42-year-old Toshiko Ciaccio was also found naked, wrapped in transparent plastic and carpet near his home in September 1992, according to police.

In 1994, William “Wild Bill” Montgomery was arrested in connection with the murders of Ciaccio and another young woman, whose bodies were also found wrapped near the Delaware River in August 1993. Merrybeth Hodgkinson has been wrapped in plastic and dumped in the woods for nearly 30 years. Now we know her name.


ClareFora is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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