Cold case homicide victim identified decades after her body was found in Rancho Cucamonga – Press Enterprise

Investigators have reopened an unsolved 1979 homicide case and identified the victim nearly 45 years after her body was found in Rancho Cucamonga Vineyards, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement published Wednesday April 3.

On June 7, 1979, a winery worker found the body of a woman who had suffered traumatic injuries in vineyards near Eighth Street and Rochester Avenue, according to Wednesday’s release.

Investigators at the time described the victim as a white female with shoulder-length light brown hair and brown eyes, between 18 and 30 years old, the release said. No identifying marks, scars or tattoos were found on the body.

After the homicide investigation failed, the victim was not identified, but in 2023, deputies from the Cold Case Homicide Team reopened the investigation in an attempt to identify the body , the sheriff’s department said.

Investigators sent the victim’s DNA samples to Othram Inc., a company specializing in processing forensic evidence.

The company used DNA testing and technology to create a DNA profile. This profile was then used to conduct a genealogy search to identify the victim as Karen Marie Heverly, 16, from Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, the release states.

Heverly had left his parents’ home at the age of 16 for reasons unknown to investigators.

Anyone with information on the case can contact Detective Justin Carty or Sgt. Justin Giles at the Specialized Investigations Division at (909) 890-4904.

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