While hiking along Martindale Creek north of Jacksonburg, Indiana, on December 26, 1982, hunters discovered the skeletal remains of a woman in the fork of a tree. Clothing found with the woman did not indicate she was out for a walk–she wore high-heeled wooden soled clogs. She was clothed in a blue, long-sleeved button up blouse; a white bra; gray slacks with a stretch panel; long blue or gray knit socks; and a blue nylon jacket. She also wore a gold ring with an opal and two diamonds. Officials determined the woman to be Caucasian with brown hair, approximately 18-22 years old, and about 5’3” – 5’7” tall. No cause of death could be determined, but investigators suspect foul play. Initial indications were she had been dead for up to 8 months.
NamUs ID: UP4842
Date Body Found: December 26, 1982
Race: White / Caucasian
Estimated Age: 18-22
Estimated PMI: 8 months
Location: Jacksonburg, IN
Agency of Jurisdiction
Wayne County Coroner’s Office
Lauren M. Ogden, Deputy Coroner
Wayne County Jane Doe 1982 Identified as Connie Lorraine Christensen by DNA Doe Project and Wayne County Coroner’s Office
Richmond, IN – A Wayne County Jane Doe case that has baffled investigators for over four decades has finally been resolved through the collaboration between the Wayne County Coroner’s Office and the DNA Doe Project, a non-profit organization that deploys investigative genetic genealogy to identify Jane and John Does. Connie Lorraine Christensen from Madison, Wisconsin, has been positively identified as the woman whose remains were discovered by hunters in a rural area north of Jacksonburg, Indiana, in 1982. She was 20 years old at the time of her death.
Investigative genetic genealogy is the process of analyzing the DNA relative matches of an unidentified person in order to build a family tree that will lead to an identity. DNA Doe Project’s expert volunteer investigators have resolved more than 100 cases of unidentified remains using these techniques.
“We were fortunate enough to find two relatively close DNA relative matches in GEDmatch that led us to Connie’s family,” said team leader Lori Flowers with the DNA Doe Project. “Taking a DNA test and uploading to GEDmatch is the best way for families of missing persons to help organizations like ours make these identifications.”
“Our hearts go out to Connie’s family, and we were honored to bring them the answers they have sought for so long,” team leader Missy Koski added. “I am proud of our dedicated and skilled volunteers who were able to assist law enforcement in returning Connie Christensen’s name after all this time.”
The DNA Doe Project is grateful to the groups and individuals who helped solve this case: the Wayne County Coroner’s Office, who entrusted the case to the DNA Doe Project; Hudson Alpha Discovery and Astrea Forensics laboratories for extraction of DNA and whole-genome sequencing; Kevin Lord for bioinformatics; GEDmatch Pro providing their database; our generous donors who joined our mission; and DDP’s dedicated teams of volunteer investigative genetic genealogists who work tirelessly to bring all our Jane and John Does home.
Image Credit: Reconstruction by Betty Gattlif; Christensen family photo.
Last Updated: December 21, 2023