Searching For A Name: 1967 Murder Victim Exhumed

Michigan investigators exhume the body of "Jenny," an unidentified murder victim found dead in 1967, to extract DNA they hope will help lead to her true identity. WOOD's Joe LaFurgey reports.

ALLENDALE, Mich. (WOOD/NBC News) — Crews on Wednesday exhumed the remains of a young woman found beaten and strangled to death more than 50 years ago.

Hunters found the woman’s body on October 20, 1967, near Allendale, Michigan. Because she was never identified, she was buried in an unmarked grave in the Blendon Township Cemetery. Ottawa County’s cold case team detectives dubbed her “Jenny” while they work to learn her real name.

Anthropologists from Michigan State University are examining the remains and extracting DNA. The cold case team hopes that DNA will allow the woman to be identified through genealogy testing — using public ancestry databases to find anyone related to her.

Detectives also hope to find out more about her death that can push their investigation forward. They warn it could take months before they have any more information.

“As an investigator, there’s a level of excitement that you can maybe further the case,” Ottawa County Sheriff’s Captain Mark Bennett. “Get an ID of the victim, maybe work to the ends of solving the case.”

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