Cold 1970s case remains open after investigators exhume wrong body at cemetery


HAMDEN, Conn. (WFSB/Gray News) – Connecticut police are looking to use DNA to solve a nearly 50-year-old cold case. But first they have to recover the victim’s body after digging up the bad one.

The East Haven Police Department said the problem is that the case dates back decades and the records at Hamden Cemetery are not so good with many unmarked graves.

“We basically start from a handwritten drawing of the cemetery and the plots. What we are seeing is that there are a lot of unmarked graves and there are a number of people who weren’t necessarily documented when they were buried,” the chief said. of East Haven Police, Joseph Murgo.

WFSB reports that the grass is high inside the old cemetery and that some of the headstones date back centuries.

In August 1975, police said a woman had been strangled and her body was found in a ditch where a Carmax dealership now stands.

“Over the years, several generations of detectives investigated the case, but we were never able to identify him. We were never able to identify a specific suspect,” Murgo said.

Investigators said they discovered “Jane Doe” was buried in Hamden’s State Street Cemetery. With DNA testing progressing, they hope to solve the case, but finding her has been difficult.

“State Street Cemetery has been abandoned for many years; he was criticized for keeping grossly inaccurate records. So that’s a challenge we face,” Murgo said.

Authorities said they knew the woman’s remains were in a specific area, but the coffin exhumed Wednesday contained the remains of a man and not their “Jane Doe”.

However, investigators said they weren’t about to give up.

“Forty-seven years is a long time to wonder what happened to your loved one, and there is someone out there who wants a sense of closure. It is our hope that we are able to bring that sense of closure to our victim’s family,” Murgo said.

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