New forensic technology may help solve decades-old cold case in Owenton, Kentucky

Posted at 11:12 AM, May 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-12 13:37:52-04

OWENTON, Ky. -- Kentucky State Police are asking people if they recognize the woman in a new facial composite sketch after she was found dead 30 years ago.

The woman’s body was found May 6, 1988 in an open field 18 miles south of Owenton, near Highway 330. It was partially decomposed, and her identity has remained a mystery since.

Investigators on the case believe she was murdered.

With the help of new forensic facial technology, KSP hopes the new composite will help identify the victim and bring the case to a close.

New technology has been beneficial to investigators in other recent cold case developments, including the case of Marcia King near Dayton, Ohio. After King’s body was found in Miami County in April 1981, investigators could not identify her and nicknamed her the “Buckskin Girl” for the jacket she was wearing. In February 2016, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children generated a new facial image of King, which helped lead to her identity last month. King’s case is now being investigated as a homicide.

The Owenton victim is believed to have been 25 to 40 years old when she died. She had dark brown, graying hair cut in a bob and a homemade tattoo reading "STEVE" on her upper arm.

She was wearing dark brown or black men’s socks, a brown nylon blouse, Winner’s choice men’s tennis shoes, faded blue jeans and a blue bra.

If you recognize the woman in the sketch, you are asked to call Detective Endre Samu with KSP at 502-532-6363.