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

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : Human remains discovered in rural Indiana in 1982 have finally been identified as those of Connie Lorraine Christensen, a Wisconsin woman who went missing over four decades ago. The Wayne County Coroner’s Office confirmed the identity of the remains, which were found by hunters near Jacksonburg, a rural community located approximately 60 miles east of Indianapolis. The cause of death was determined to be a gunshot wound, and the case remains unsolved.

Christensen, who hailed from the Madison, Wisconsin-area community of Oregon, was last seen in Nashville, Tennessee in April 1982. At the time, she was believed to be three to four months pregnant. Prior to her disappearance, Christensen had left her 1-year-old daughter in the care of relatives, who reported her missing when she failed to return as planned.

The remains of Christensen were being stored at the University of Indianapolis’ forensic anthropology department when the Wayne County Coroner’s Office decided to collaborate with the DNA Doe Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to identifying cold case victims. Using advanced forensic genetic genealogy techniques, the Indiana State Police’s forensic laboratory successfully extracted DNA from the remains and discovered a close match with two of Christensen’s relatives.

Remarkably, while the identification efforts were underway, Christensen’s family was simultaneously working on constructing an accurate family tree using ancestry and genealogy resources. Several of Christensen’s living relatives had uploaded their DNA to an ancestry website, which expedited the identification process and provided the coroner’s office with a candidate’s name much sooner than expected.

To commemorate the identification, Christensen’s adult daughter was taken to the location where her mother’s remains were discovered. She had the opportunity to leave flowers at the site and was also presented with a gold ring set with an opal and two diamonds that was found alongside her mother’s remains.

Missy Koski, a member of the DNA Doe Project, expressed pride in the collaborative efforts that finally restored Connie Christensen’s name after all these years. The identification of the remains brings closure to the family and serves as a testament to the power of advanced forensic techniques and genealogical research in solving long-standing cold cases.

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