A 1985 unsolved homicide case in Montana gets a big break in identifying the victim, thanks to DNA samples

For over three decades, Montana police have been trying to identify the skeletal remains of a woman that were found by a bear hunter in Missoula County. 今, 警察は言う, they have identified them as belonging to Janet Lee Lucas, a missing mother from Washington.

Her remains were found in 1985 and namedChristy Crystal Creekby the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), due to the location of where they were found.
Over the years the unsolved case has caught the attention of web sleuths and featured on a true crime podcast, partly because of the theory she was a victim of serial killer Wayne Nance.
      We cannot rest on our success of having finally identified Janet. We must now seek justice for Janet,” said MSCO Detective Captain Dave Conway in a news release on Monday. “Our focus has changed from ‘who is Christy Crystal Creek?’ to ‘what happened to Janet Lucas? This is now a cold case homicide investigation, and we need your help.
        今年の初め, after receiving state funding and partnering with a lab, MSCO said they were able to conduct a forensic genetic genealogy investigation on the remains which identified DNA relatives and family trees of Lucasfamily in Spokane. Additional DNA testing was conducted on relatives, and MCSO was able to conclusively identifyChristy Crystal Creekas 23-year-old Lucas.
          Police are hoping this image of Lucas in 1979 will bring leads to the investigation.

          ルーカス’ family said they have been searching for the Spokane woman, who was last seen in Idaho the summer of 1983. Her family released a statement on Monday saying she had a contagious smile, warm personality and a she wore her heart on her sleeve.
          After decades of missing Janet, our family is broken hearted to learn that she was tragically taken, unidentified and spent a large amount of years alone,” ステートメントを読みます. “しかしながら, she never spent one moment without being loved. Janet had been missed dearly, searched for but most importantly never forgotten.
          At the time she went missing, her son was five years old, according to MSCO, and he has spent much his adult life searching for her.

          Remains were found near Crystal Creek, 当局者は言った

          On September 9, 1985, a bear hunter came across the skeletonized remains in a rural area near Crystal Creek, according to MSCO.
          No clothing or personal affects were found in the area, according to FBI, and it is believed she died a year earlier. The initial investigation determined she died from two gunshots to the head, 警察によると.
          After a thorough investigation, those remains could not be identified and became known as Christy Crystal Creek,” ニュースリリースを読む.
          Despite decades of work with forensic anthropologists and a forensic odontologist, and hours of research scouring missing persons databases here and in Canada, her identity remained a mystery.

          Officials looking for any possible links to ‘Missoula Mauler

          CSO Detective Marta Timmons told CNN affiliate KTMF last year それ “she’s assumed that she could be a victim of Wayne Nance, because she’s found in an area where Wayne Nance used to hang out.
          Nance, として知られている “Missoula Mauler,” was a suspected serial killer in Missoula during the 1970s and 1980s, according to the Billings Gazette.
          ルーカス’ remains were found near another homicide victimDebbie Deer Creek,” the name given to remains of a then-unidentified woman. “‘Debbie Deer Creek,’ [later] identified as Marcella ‘MarciBachmann, was a known Nance victim,” a spokesperson with MSCO told CNN. “Bachmann was seen with Nance in September 1984 and was believed to have been killed around that time.
          It was one of his favorite places to take people. There’s an old car there that he liked to sit in,” Timmons said. “And it was just one of his favorite places to take people.
          Nance is believed to have killed six victims in Missoula and Ravalli counties, according to the Gazette. The true number of his victims will never be known, according to police reports.
          に 1986, Nance was killed when he attacked a young couple inside of their home.
          MSCO said they are reviewing evidence and reports for any possible links between Wayne Nance and Lucas.

          The investigation continues

          Police are now trying to piece together Lucaslast years of her life and how she came to be in Montana. They said that there are no records showing her living or spending time in the state.
            Police released a photo of Lucas from 1979 in hopes that someone may have known or seen her in Missoula in the summer of 1983 or into 1984.
            While after 38 年, our family finally has some answers. We also realize there are questions that we may never have the answers to,” reads Lucasfamily statement. “We are grateful to finally be able to bring her home to us, as well as bring Janet the peace and rest she so deserves.