Authorities have announced that the human remains discovered in rural Indiana in 1982 have now been positively identified as belonging to a Wisconsin woman who went missing over forty years ago at the age of twenty.
According to Lauren Ogden, the chief deputy coroner of the Wayne County Coroner’s Office, the remains have been identified as Connie Lorraine Christensen, who hailed from the Oregon community in Madison, Wisconsin.
In December 1982, hunters stumbled upon the remains of Christensen near Jacksonburg, a quiet rural community located about 60 miles east of Indianapolis, according to Ogden. At the time, her identity had not been established, and it was determined that she had been fatally shot. Tragically, her homicide remains an unresolved case.
According to Ogden, Christensen was last spotted in Nashville, Tennessee, in April 1982. At the time, she was estimated to be three to four months pregnant. She had entrusted her 1-year-old daughter to her relatives while she was away. However, when Christensen failed to return to Wisconsin as scheduled, her relatives reported her missing.
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The remains of Christensen were kept at the Forensic Anthropology Department of the University of Indianapolis. The coroner’s office collaborated with the DNA Doe Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to solving cold cases, to assist in the identification process.
Forensic genetic genealogy determined that the DNA extracted from them closely matches the DNA of two of Christensen’s relatives, according to Ogden from the Indiana State Police’s forensic laboratory.
While the identification efforts were in progress, her family coincidentally embarked on the task of creating a precise family tree through ancestry and genealogy, according to Ogden.
According to the genealogists at the DNA Doe Project, the quick identification of a candidate was made possible by the DNA uploads of several living relatives of Connie to an ancestry website. The office was pleasantly surprised by the expedited process.
Christensen’s now adult daughter was accompanied to the site where her mother’s remains were discovered last Tuesday by Ogden. She had the opportunity to leave flowers at the location as a way of paying tribute. In addition, authorities presented her with a gold ring adorned with an opal and two diamonds, which were found alongside her mother’s remains.
Missy Koski, a member of the DNA Doe Project, expressed her pride in the collaborative efforts that successfully brought back Connie Christensen’s identity after such a long time.