Authorities hope pollen leads to identification of body found in 1984

Updated: May. 17, 2018 at 8:14 AM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Law enforcement officials in Wisconsin have reached out to the public in Arizona and New Mexico after new evidence suggests the victim is most likely from the region.

According to a news release from the Vernon County (WI) Sheriff's Office, pollen testing of the unidentified victim's clothing "suggests the victim is most likely from an urban area in the Semi-Arid Highlands or lowest elevation zone of the Temperate Sierra found in the states of Arizona or New Mexico."

The body of the victim, a woman believed to have been 50-63 at the time of her death, was found on May 4, 1984, outside Westby, WI. Investigators ruled the cause of death was severe head trauma.

The victim is described as white, 5-foot-5, about 150 pounds, with brown graying hair, blue eyes. She had an approximately 4-inch surgical scar on her abdomen. The victim was found wearing a "plaid three-quarter length coat, brown and tan, black turquoise color with checkered pattern with a lining on the purple coat. The victim also was wearing a dress with a light blue turtle neck top; the dress has a black background with a large paisley pattern, which is blue and white."

The victim had full dentures with raised numbers "p85" or "p8s" and "289" or "682" and "420" or "4-20" inscribed in them.

Pollen testing has been successfully used previously to solve another high-profile homicide investigation.

On June 25, 2015 a girl's body was found on Deer Island in Boston. There was speculation the body of "Baby Doe" may have washed ashore from Canada. After pollen testing was completed, it was determined the child was from the Boston area, which assisted law enforcement to target the Boston area to seek her identification. On Sept. 18, 2015 the child was identified as Bella Neveah Amoroso Bond.

Anyone with information about the unidentified woman found in Wisconsin in 1984 should contact Lt. Scott Bjerkos with the Vernon County Sheriff's Office at 608-637-2124 or Special Agent Joe Welsch with the Wisconsin Dept. of Justice at 715-839-3830.

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