En 2013, Smith’s then-unidentified remains were sent to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification
, where results of DNA extraction and an anthropology report revealed the remains were of a female between the ages of
14-21 and likely the victim of a homicide
, la declaración decía.
The DNA results were then put into the Combined DNA Index System, DPS said, in the hopes of finding a match.
En 2020, after years of no results, DPS’ Texas Rangers coordinated with the Midland County District Attorney’s Office to send the remains for advanced DNA analysis that would provide a more accurate physical description, de acuerdo con el comunicado. Results showed that the victim was African American and provided information on her eye and hair color.
A genetic genealogist examined the DNA to match it to a distant relative, DPS said, and after interviewing many potential relatives, the Rangers came across Smith’s mother, who told them her daughter had been missing since 2000. The University of North Texas verified the remains were Smith after collecting DNA samples from her relatives.
A homicide investigation is now underway
, DPS said
, and the Rangers ask anyone with information into her disappearance to come forward