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