‘Buckskin Girl’ identified


DNA, technology provides identity of county’s Jane Doe

By Melody Vallieu - mvallieu@aimmediamidwest.com



Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest The body of Jane Doe — now known to be 21-year-old Marcia Cross of Arkansas — rests under a simple marker at Riverside Cemetery in Troy. Although, until now, her identity was unknown, her grave receives visitors and the occasional spray of flowers. The headstone reflects the date of April 22, 1981, which was the day she was believed to have been murdered during the initial investigation.

Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest The body of Jane Doe — now known to be 21-year-old Marcia Cross of Arkansas — rests under a simple marker at Riverside Cemetery in Troy. Although, until now, her identity was unknown, her grave receives visitors and the occasional spray of flowers. The headstone reflects the date of April 22, 1981, which was the day she was believed to have been murdered during the initial investigation.


Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak opens a Wednesday press conference at the Miami Co. Sheriff’s Office Training Center to announce the positive identifcation of Jane Doe, aka Buckskin Girl, whose body was found on Greenlee Road on April 24, 1981.


Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Chief Deputy Steve Lord of the Miami County Sheriff’s Office discusses identification of Jane Doe at a Wednesday press conference at the MCSO Training Center.


Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Dr. Elizabeth Murray, a forensic anthropologist and professor of Biology at Mount Saint Joseph University in Cincinnati discusses her part in the decades-long investigation to identify Miami County’s Jane Doe, aka “Buckskin Girl”, during Wednesday’s press conference at the MCSO Training Center.


Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest DNA Doe Project founders Colleen Fitzpatrick and Margaret Press address the media during Wednesday’s press conference announcing the identification of Jane Doe, aka “Buckskin Girl” who was found murdered along Greenlee Road in April of 1981.


Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Retired Miami County Sheriff’s detective, Lt. Bob Swietzer was one of the original investigators in the Jane Doe murder case.


Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest Artist conceptions of Jane Doe, aka “Buckskin Girl,” from February 2016.


Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Sheriff Dave Duchak addresses the key investigators who were involved in the 37 year long search to idenify Marcia L. King, formerly known as Jane Doe and “Buckskin Girl” following the discovery of ther body on Greenlee Road in April of 1981


Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest The Miami County Sheriff’s Office announced on Wednesday that Jane Doe, aka “Buckskin Girl,” has been positiviely identifed as Marcia L. King, 21, of Arkansas, following a nearly four decade-long investigation.


Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Man who found girl happy for closure

TROY — Greg Bridenbaugh, one of the three men who found the murdered girl in 1981, said he was happy to hear that “Buckskin Girl” finally was able to be given her real name back.

“I’m glad that this has happened. It’s been something I’ve thought of for 37 years,” Bridenbaugh said. “I’d about given up on it.”

Bridenbaugh said he was moving from State Route 55 to Greenlee Road on the day the body was discovered. He said his friends, brothers Neal Hoffman and Martin Hoffman, were helping him move when he noticed a buckskin coat in the ditch.

“I was like, ‘That’s a nice coat,’” said Bridenbaugh, who said they continued with moving items from State Route 55 to Greenlee Road.

The next time they came back to Greenlee Road, however, Bridenbaugh said he told Neal Hoffman to go look at the coat.

“He said ‘Oh my god, there’s a woman in that coat,’” said Bridenbaugh, then a lieutenant on the Ludlow Falls Fire Department.

Bridenbaugh — who went on to have a long career as the chief of the LFFD — said he didn’t have a phone yet at the Greenlee residence, so he used his fire department radio to contact dispatch about the girl, who they believed to already be deceased.

“It was first believed they thought it was a car accident, and the State Highway Patrol came flying in,” Bridenbaugh remembered. “Then the the sheriff’s office, including detectives, soon convened on the site.”

He remembers a member of the Pleasant Hill rescue squad as the one who pronounced her dead while she remained untouched in the ditch.

“She was laying on her right side, almost in the fetal position,” Bridenbaugh recalled. “It was like someone just laid her in there.

“Once we found her, we kind of just stayed back from everything,” Bridenbaugh said.

About a year ago, Bridenbaugh said he met a detective from Salt Lake City, Utah, who was looking into unsolved murders around the country and did an interview with the man. Bridenbaugh said he hoped at that point it was leading to her identification.

“This just puts closure to everything,” Bridebaugh said.

TROY — Miami County’s Jane Doe got her real name back on Wednesday when officials announced that a 37-year-old murder case had resulted in the identification of the victim.

Dubbed “Buckskin Girl,” the female has been identified as Marcia L. King, 21 at the time of her death, from Arkansas, it was announced during a press conference on Wednesday.

The confirmation was made Monday, April 9, by the Miami Valley Crime Lab following DNA testing.

The female homicide victim was found on April 24, 1981, in a ditch along Greenlee Road, located west of Troy, and believed to have only been deceased for hours when she was found. She was found clothed, wearing bell-bottom blue jeans, a brown turtleneck sweater with an orange crisscross design on the front, and a handmade tan buckskin pullover jacket with leather fringe around the seams and a deep purple lining.

An autopsy concluded she was strangled to death, but also suffered blunt-force trauma to her head and also had a lacerated liver.

The scientific assistance that led to the victim’s identification was conducted by the DNA Doe Project, a nonprofit organization created in 2017 to apply genealogy tools to the identification of unknown persons. Miami County’s Jane Doe case was one of the first cases accepted for the project, using degraded DNA. The founders of the DNA Doe Project, Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick and Dr. Margaret Press, both flew in from California to be at the Wednesday news conference.

According to Miami County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Steve Lord, he has been in contact with King’s family and they wish to remain private while they now grieve the loss of their loved one. He said King’s mother has lived in the same home for the last 37 years, kept the same phone number — and the hope that King remained alive.

“They were hopeful Marcia would come home. They now know that won’t happen,” said Lord, who said the family plans to update King’s headstone in Troy’s Riverside Cemetery that simply says “Jane Doe — April 22, 1981.”

Lord said King was never been reported as missing and that the sheriff’s office did not want to reveal too much information, as the case remains active until the person or persons who murdered King are located.

Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak said the murder has always remained an open case and as technology has advanced, it was used to work toward identification.

As DNA technology became available, the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab generated the victim’s nuclear DNA profile in 2001, according to officials. In 2008, her profile was entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs). In 2009, her mitochondrial DNA profile was developed at the NamUs DNA lab, and both genetic profiles of the deceased were entered into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). In 2010, NamUs case management was assigned to Dr. Elizabeth Murray, a forensic anthropologist and professor of biology at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, who has assisted with the investigation since.

“I can’t emphasize how many things had to go right for us to be standing here today,” Murray said. “This is some revolutionary, ground-breaking work.“

In 2016, a new facial image was generated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2016, pollen studies of the victim’s clothing were conducted by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency, and stable isotope studies on her hair were concluded in an effort to trace the victim’s location and geographic movements in the last year of her life.

“Law enforcement never forgets. We’ve had a long journey to where we are today,” Duchak said.

Lord said the investigation now shifts to solving the homicide. He said King’s last known whereabouts — according to family and other investigative materials — were the Louisville, Ky., and Pittsburgh, Pa., areas.

Anyone with information about King and the continuing investigation can contact the Miami County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at (937) 440-3990 or leave tips at www.miamicountysheriff.org/contact-us1. Lord said the tip lines will be checked continuously in the coming days.

“We’re trying to get a pretty good picture painted of where she was the last month before she ended up in Miami County,” Lord said.

Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest The body of Jane Doe — now known to be 21-year-old Marcia Cross of Arkansas — rests under a simple marker at Riverside Cemetery in Troy. Although, until now, her identity was unknown, her grave receives visitors and the occasional spray of flowers. The headstone reflects the date of April 22, 1981, which was the day she was believed to have been murdered during the initial investigation.
http://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2018/04/web1_041018mju_mcso_janedoe201841016147894-2.jpgMike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest The body of Jane Doe — now known to be 21-year-old Marcia Cross of Arkansas — rests under a simple marker at Riverside Cemetery in Troy. Although, until now, her identity was unknown, her grave receives visitors and the occasional spray of flowers. The headstone reflects the date of April 22, 1981, which was the day she was believed to have been murdered during the initial investigation. Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak opens a Wednesday press conference at the Miami Co. Sheriff’s Office Training Center to announce the positive identifcation of Jane Doe, aka Buckskin Girl, whose body was found on Greenlee Road on April 24, 1981.
http://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2018/04/web1_041118mju_mcso_janedoe1201841114441238-2.jpgMiami County Sheriff Dave Duchak opens a Wednesday press conference at the Miami Co. Sheriff’s Office Training Center to announce the positive identifcation of Jane Doe, aka Buckskin Girl, whose body was found on Greenlee Road on April 24, 1981. Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Chief Deputy Steve Lord of the Miami County Sheriff’s Office discusses identification of Jane Doe at a Wednesday press conference at the MCSO Training Center.
http://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2018/04/web1_041118mju_mcso_janedoe22018411144421248-2.jpgChief Deputy Steve Lord of the Miami County Sheriff’s Office discusses identification of Jane Doe at a Wednesday press conference at the MCSO Training Center. Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Dr. Elizabeth Murray, a forensic anthropologist and professor of Biology at Mount Saint Joseph University in Cincinnati discusses her part in the decades-long investigation to identify Miami County’s Jane Doe, aka “Buckskin Girl”, during Wednesday’s press conference at the MCSO Training Center.
http://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2018/04/web1_041118mju_mcso_janedoe32018411144443256-2.jpgDr. Elizabeth Murray, a forensic anthropologist and professor of Biology at Mount Saint Joseph University in Cincinnati discusses her part in the decades-long investigation to identify Miami County’s Jane Doe, aka “Buckskin Girl”, during Wednesday’s press conference at the MCSO Training Center. Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest DNA Doe Project founders Colleen Fitzpatrick and Margaret Press address the media during Wednesday’s press conference announcing the identification of Jane Doe, aka “Buckskin Girl” who was found murdered along Greenlee Road in April of 1981.
http://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2018/04/web1_041118mju_mcso_janedoe4201841114453132-2.jpgMike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest DNA Doe Project founders Colleen Fitzpatrick and Margaret Press address the media during Wednesday’s press conference announcing the identification of Jane Doe, aka “Buckskin Girl” who was found murdered along Greenlee Road in April of 1981. Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Retired Miami County Sheriff’s detective, Lt. Bob Swietzer was one of the original investigators in the Jane Doe murder case.
http://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2018/04/web1_041118mju_mcso_janedoe52018411144520760-2.jpgRetired Miami County Sheriff’s detective, Lt. Bob Swietzer was one of the original investigators in the Jane Doe murder case. Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest Artist conceptions of Jane Doe, aka “Buckskin Girl,” from February 2016.
http://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2018/04/web1_041118mju_mcso_janedoe6201841114462396-2.jpgMike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest Artist conceptions of Jane Doe, aka “Buckskin Girl,” from February 2016. Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Sheriff Dave Duchak addresses the key investigators who were involved in the 37 year long search to idenify Marcia L. King, formerly known as Jane Doe and “Buckskin Girl” following the discovery of ther body on Greenlee Road in April of 1981
http://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2018/04/web1_041118mju_mcso_janedoe8201841115357288-2.jpgSheriff Dave Duchak addresses the key investigators who were involved in the 37 year long search to idenify Marcia L. King, formerly known as Jane Doe and “Buckskin Girl” following the discovery of ther body on Greenlee Road in April of 1981 Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest The Miami County Sheriff’s Office announced on Wednesday that Jane Doe, aka “Buckskin Girl,” has been positiviely identifed as Marcia L. King, 21, of Arkansas, following a nearly four decade-long investigation.
http://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2018/04/web1_Buckskingirl1-2.jpgMike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest The Miami County Sheriff’s Office announced on Wednesday that Jane Doe, aka “Buckskin Girl,” has been positiviely identifed as Marcia L. King, 21, of Arkansas, following a nearly four decade-long investigation. Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest
DNA, technology provides identity of county’s Jane Doe

By Melody Vallieu

mvallieu@aimmediamidwest.com

Man who found girl happy for closure

TROY — Greg Bridenbaugh, one of the three men who found the murdered girl in 1981, said he was happy to hear that “Buckskin Girl” finally was able to be given her real name back.

“I’m glad that this has happened. It’s been something I’ve thought of for 37 years,” Bridenbaugh said. “I’d about given up on it.”

Bridenbaugh said he was moving from State Route 55 to Greenlee Road on the day the body was discovered. He said his friends, brothers Neal Hoffman and Martin Hoffman, were helping him move when he noticed a buckskin coat in the ditch.

“I was like, ‘That’s a nice coat,’” said Bridenbaugh, who said they continued with moving items from State Route 55 to Greenlee Road.

The next time they came back to Greenlee Road, however, Bridenbaugh said he told Neal Hoffman to go look at the coat.

“He said ‘Oh my god, there’s a woman in that coat,’” said Bridenbaugh, then a lieutenant on the Ludlow Falls Fire Department.

Bridenbaugh — who went on to have a long career as the chief of the LFFD — said he didn’t have a phone yet at the Greenlee residence, so he used his fire department radio to contact dispatch about the girl, who they believed to already be deceased.

“It was first believed they thought it was a car accident, and the State Highway Patrol came flying in,” Bridenbaugh remembered. “Then the the sheriff’s office, including detectives, soon convened on the site.”

He remembers a member of the Pleasant Hill rescue squad as the one who pronounced her dead while she remained untouched in the ditch.

“She was laying on her right side, almost in the fetal position,” Bridenbaugh recalled. “It was like someone just laid her in there.

“Once we found her, we kind of just stayed back from everything,” Bridenbaugh said.

About a year ago, Bridenbaugh said he met a detective from Salt Lake City, Utah, who was looking into unsolved murders around the country and did an interview with the man. Bridenbaugh said he hoped at that point it was leading to her identification.

“This just puts closure to everything,” Bridebaugh said.

Reach Melody Vallieu at (937) 552-2131 or email at mvallieu@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Melody Vallieu at (937) 552-2131 or email at mvallieu@aimmediamidwest.com

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