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Body found in Louisiana in the ’80s is missing K’zoo woman

Posted at 3:31 PM, Mar 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-05 22:28:19-05

KALAMAZOO, Mich.  -- The body of a woman found in Louisiana in the '80s has been identified by investigators as Carol Ann Cole of Kalamazoo.

Carol Ann Cole

Carol Ann Cole

Cole was found dead from stab wounds in 1981, according to the Bossier Sheriff's Office.

"It's been a long 34 years, but I`m here to tell you today that the wait is over, and Carol Cole is coming home," Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington said during Thursday's press conference in Louisiana.

Police composite rendering of 'Bossier Doe'

Police composite rendering of 'Bossier Doe'

Officials created a "Bossier Doe" Facebook page in February to help generate tips about her identity.

Cole's relatives told FOX 17 last month that she was a runaway who was thought to have visited the Shreveport, Louisiana area before her disappearance.   Family members met with detectives in Kalamazoo County to give a DNA sample to help identify her.

During Thursday's press conference, Linda "Jeanie" Phelps, Carol's sister , expressed both relief and heartbreak in learning the DNA results positively matched her sister.

"There is a sense of relief but also a deep sadness, the past couple weeks waiting on DNA results have seemed like forever, compared to the last 35 years," Phelps said.

"I really cannot express the amount of gratitude to the amount of people that spent so much time to find Bossier Doe's identity."

Chuck Cole, one of Carol's cousins, told FOX 17 Thursday evening this new discovery now opens the doors to even more questions he hopes to finally have answered.

"There is a sigh of reliefs the search is over, now their is a new beginning finding out who did this, and why."

Cole said he's grateful to the police department in Bossier Parish for using technology and social media to break this cold case.

"Kudos to the police department. They put it out there like going fishing to see what happens and what a big fish, it's awesome," he said.

"The search is over, she is found we can bring her home and give her the burial she deserves."

Police now say one of the hunters who found Cole's body 34 years ago is considered a 'person of interest' in her death. John Chesson is currently serving life in prison for the 1997 murder of his estranged ex-wife's mother-in-law. She was stabbed, just like Carol Ann Cole.

In 1984, convicted serial killer Henry Lee Lucas originally confessed to the murder of the then Bossier Doe. He was indicted but never went to trial. Lucas later recanted his confession before his death in 2001.

Below is the full video of the Bossier Parish Sheriff's press conference.