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MSP asks for help identifying body recovered 33 years ago

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Posted at 10:38 AM, Nov 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-12 10:38:42-05

NEW BUFFALO, Mich. — Michigan State Police’s Niles Post and the New Buffalo Police Department are asking the public for help identifying a recovered body.

It washed ashore on the New Buffalo breakwater of Lake Michigan 33 years ago on April 8, 1988, according to a news release Friday.

The body is described as a middle-aged woman about 40-60 years old, about 5’5”, 175 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

She’s thought to have been wearing a wig or braided extensions, which had been pulled from the scalp.

Police say she was wearing a pair of men’s size 38 blue jeans with a wide double-ring, striped cloth belt. Underneath the jeans she had red, white and blue shorts with full-length pantyhose. She was not wearing a top but did have on a sandy-colored, front-clasped, heavy-duty brassiere. The woman was also wearing black zippered, top ankle boots.

During the autopsy, medical examiners discovered the individual underwent a hysterectomy since she was missing her uterus, bilateral tubes and ovaries. There’s also a single scar stretching from her pelvis to her naval. No other scars, marks or tattoos were present.

A forensic exam of dental health indicated over excellent dentistry.

The examining doctor noted the person likely didn’t smoke or drink alcohol excessively because of a lack of staining, and also believed the woman came from an upper socioeconomic group based on the porcelain bridge replacing a front tooth.

He said this type of work was considered experimental at the time and was probably performed within five years of her death.

Officials exhumed the body on Nov. 9 to collect a DNA sample for CODIS entry and forensic genetic genealogy.

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Dental records are also on file to compare with known missing individuals.