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1997 Ada Township homicide victim identified

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Posted at 5:26 PM, Jan 04, 2022

ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The Kent County Sheriff’s Office says the remains of a 1997 homicide victim in Ada Township have been identified.

Deputies say the remains of Stephanie Renee Judson were found in a roadside park nearly 25 years ago. We’re told Stephanie’s identity was discerned thanks to help from the DNA Doe Project.

We're told Stephanie was born on Jan. 2, 1966 and was initially from Benton Harbor before moving to Grand Rapids in the late ‘80s. Her remains were found on July 31, 1997, and the sheriff’s office says the Kent County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Stephanie’s death was a result of homicide.

Following years of DNA sampling and research, investigators learned Stephanie was a Black woman aged between 18 and 25, and was somewhere between 5’2” and 5’8” tall, authorities explain. We’re told the bones were transported to the University of North Texas where researchers extracted a DNA sample, leading to Stephanie’s identification via the DNA Doe Project.

Kent County deputies say investigations into the case may now move forward.

Those with information relating to Stephanie Judson are encouraged to get in touch with detectives at 616-632-6136 or Silent Observer.

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