Connie Lorraine Christensen : “Human Remains Found in 1982 Identified as Wisconsin Woman Missing for Over 40 Years”

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : Newly Identified Human Remains of Missing Wisconsin Woman Discovered in Rural Indiana After 40 Years

RICHMOND, Ind. (AP) — In a breakthrough development, authorities have finally identified the human remains found in rural Indiana back in 1982. The remains have been confirmed to belong to Connie Lorraine Christensen, a young Wisconsin woman who went missing over four decades ago. The Wayne County Coroner’s Office confirmed the identity of the remains after years of investigation.

Lauren Ogden, the chief deputy coroner, revealed that the remains were discovered by hunters near Jacksonburg, a remote community located approximately 60 miles (97 kilometers) east of Indianapolis. Christensen had tragically lost her life to a gunshot wound, and her murder has remained unsolved all these years.

Christensen, who hailed from the Madison, Wisconsin-area community of Oregon, was last seen in Nashville, Tennessee, in April 1982. During her disappearance, she was believed to be three to four months pregnant. She had entrusted her 1-year-old daughter to her relatives while she was away, but when she failed to return as planned, her family reported her missing.

For decades, Christensen’s remains were stored at the University of Indianapolis’ forensic anthropology department. However, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the DNA Doe Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to identifying cold case victims, and the Indiana State Police’s forensic laboratory, a breakthrough was finally achieved. DNA extracted from the remains matched closely with two of Christensen’s relatives, leading to her positive identification.

Interestingly, Christensen’s family had also been working on constructing an accurate family tree using ancestry and genealogy around the same time the identification efforts were underway. Several of her living relatives had uploaded their DNA to an ancestry website, facilitating the genealogists at the DNA Doe Project to provide the coroner’s office with a potential candidate much sooner than expected.

In a poignant moment, Christensen’s now-adult daughter was taken to the location where her mother’s remains were discovered, allowing her to pay her respects and leave flowers there. Additionally, authorities presented her with a gold ring adorned with an opal and two diamonds, which had been found alongside her mother’s remains.

Missy Koski, a member of the DNA Doe Project, expressed pride in the joint efforts that ultimately restored “Connie Christensen’s name after all this time,” in a recent news release. The identification of these remains brings hope that further progress may be made in solving the cold case and bringing justice to Connie Lorraine Christensen and her loved ones.

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