On April 28, 1981 the body of a young woman was found alongside a road in Troy, Ohio. The victim had been strangled and beaten. She had died one or two days prior to being discovered. She wore a distinctive fringed buckskin poncho, hence her nickname. She also wore jeans and a turtleneck sweater. She was barefoot and had braided auburn hair. She was a White/Caucasian female between 18-27 years old, 5’4″- 5’6″ tall, and weighing 125-130 lbs. Pollen tests on the deerskin poncho indicated she had spent time in the southwest United States or northern Mexico. This was consistent with isotope tests performed on her hair, which indicated she had spent time in northern Texas at least twice during the year prior to her death.
NamUs ID: UP4790 (achieved)
Date Found: April 28, 1981
Estimated Age: 18-27
Estimated PMI: 24 hours
Location: Troy, OH
Agency of Jurisdiction
Miami County Sheriff Office
Steve Lord, Chief Deputy
937-440-3965 ext. 6633
On April 10, 2018 Miami County Sheriff Office (MCSO), the Miami County Coroner Office (MCCO), and the DNA Doe Project (DDP) announced the identity of the body of the young woman found in 1981 in Troy, Miami County, Ohio known as Miami County Jane Doe, aka Buckskin Girl, as Marcia L. King. DDP had been searching for the girl’s name using genetic genealogy.
Marcia L. King was born Marcia Lenore Sossoman on June 9, 1959 in Arkansas. She was twenty-one years of age at the time of her death. She regularly hitchhiked and after leaving her Arkansas home in 1980 was not heard from again. Her strangled and beaten body was found along a road in Ohio on April 28, 1981.
Early in 2018 the victim’s DNA was obtained from a blood sample that had been in storage since 1981. It was processed using advanced DNA techniques and uploaded to a public genealogy database, GEDmatch. On March 29, 2018 DDP volunteer genealogists needed only about four hours to identify a candidate. The Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab confirmed the victim’s identity through a relative’s DNA on April 9, 2018.
The DNA Doe Project wishes to acknowledge the individuals and organizations assisting in this case: Steve Lord of the Miami County Sheriff Office for bringing us this case; Dr. Elizabeth Murray, forensic anthropologist and Professor of Biology at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati; Dr. Weining Tang, PhD, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, AMD Biotech; Justin Loe, CEO, Full Genomes Corporation; Dr. Greg Magoon, contracting through Full Genomes Corporation; GEDmatch; and, of course, our dedicated and talented volunteers.
We offer our condolences to the family for their loss.
Photo Credit: NCMEC
Links to Buckskin Girl articles
Last Updated: August 18, 2021