COVERT TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Investigators have identified a woman whose body was found in 1988 near I-196 in Van Buren County.
Using DNA technology, cold case investigators have determined the woman previously known as “I-196 Jane” is Marcia Bateman from Oklahoma City.
Bateman’s body was found in October 1988 in Covert Township, about 10 miles south of South Haven. Investigators used all available technology in attempts to determine her identity over the last three-plus decades but were unsuccessful until this week.
In late 2018, Michigan State Police began using genealogy DNA technology in their investigation and received a grant to pay for processing fees. In July 2019, results came back and MSP partnered with nonprofit DNA Doe Project to identify a list of family members for I-196 Jane.
This week, investigators received DNA confirmation of Bateman’s identity.
She had last been seen in May 1988 and was reported missing in August of that year. She was known to visit family and friends in Dallas and Los Angeles, and investigators still haven’t figured out how she made it to Covert Township from Oklahoma City.
For the next phase of the investigation, MSP asks anyone who knew Bateman to call them at 844-642-8384 or email MSP-51TIPS@michigan.gov.