Cold Case Detectives Release New Image Of Unidentified Homicide Victim Using Phenotyping DNA

New Castle County Police Cold Case detectives continue their investigation into the identity of an unknown female whose remains were discovered in a drainage ditch on Old Union Church Road, Townsend, De in 1977.

Cold Case Detectives recently sought the services of Parabon Nano Labs, a DNA technology company in Virginia, that specializes in DNA phenotyping: the process of predicting physical appearance and ancestry from unidentified DNA evidence. Law enforcement agencies use the company’s Snapshot DNA Phenotyping Service(Snapshot) to narrow suspect lists and generate leads in criminal investigations.

On April 10, 2018, the Division of Forensic Science obtained a CT scan of the victim’s skull which was sent to Parabon Labs along with DNA extracted from the victim’s bones. Using DNA obtained from the victim’s remains, Snapshot produced trait predictions for the unidentified victim. Individual predictions were made for the victim’s ancestry, eye color, hair color, skin color, freckling and face shape. By combining these attributes of appearance, a Snapshot composite was produced depicting what the victim may have looked like at 48 years old with a body-mass index(BMI) of 22. These default values were used because age and BMI cannot be determined from DNA.

Anyone with information on the identity of the unknown female can contact Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333 or by e-mailing Detective BShahan@nccde.org or by calling 302-395-2781, or by e-mailing Ret. S/Sgt GLDavis@nccde.org or by calling 302-395-8216, For more information on this investigation, please visit NCCPD.COM.

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