Connie Lorraine Christensen : “Remains of Woman Found in Indiana in 1982 Identified as Missing Wisconsin Woman”

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : The remains of a woman found dead 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 identification, bringing closure to a long-standing cold case.

Connie Lorraine Christensen, who hailed from the Madison, Wisconsin-area community of Oregon, was just 20 years old when she vanished without a trace. Her remains were discovered by hunters in December 1982 near Jacksonburg, a rural community approximately 60 miles east of Indianapolis. The cause of death was determined to be a gunshot wound, and her homicide case remains unsolved.

The DNA Doe Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to identifying cold case victims, played a crucial role in identifying Christensen. They noted that her clothing did not suggest she was out for a walk. When she was found, she was wearing high-heeled wooden soled clogs, a blue, long-sleeved button-up blouse, gray slacks, long knit socks, and a blue nylon jacket. She also had a gold ring with an opal and two diamonds.

Christensen was last seen in Nashville, Tennessee, in April 1982. At the time, she was believed to be three to four months pregnant. She had left her 1-year-old daughter with relatives while she was away, and they reported her missing when she failed to return as planned to Wisconsin.

After years of storage at the University of Indianapolis’ forensic anthropology department, Christensen’s remains were finally identified through the efforts of the DNA Doe Project and the Indiana State Police’s forensic laboratory. Forensic genetic genealogy matched her DNA with that of two of Christensen’s relatives.

Coincidentally, while the identification efforts were underway, Christensen’s family was also working on creating an accurate family tree using ancestry and genealogy. This, along with several living relatives uploading their DNA to an ancestry website, allowed the DNA Doe Project to provide the coroner’s office with a potential candidate much faster than anticipated.

The Wayne County Coroner’s Office recently took Christensen’s now-adult daughter to the location where her mother’s remains were found. There, she left flowers and was presented with the gold ring that was discovered with her mother’s remains. The DNA Doe Project expressed their condolences to the family, stating that they were honored to bring them the long-awaited answers they had been seeking for so many years.

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