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California NewsUSA

Skull discovered near Lake Tahoe ultimately linked to missing 1970 nurse – Orange County Register

By Sarah Engel

Human remains discovered decades ago near Lake Tahoe were eventually identified as those of missing nurse Donna Lass.

Lass was 25 when she was reported missing to South Lake Tahoe police in 1971, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. Lass was last seen on September 7, 1970, walking with a young blond man in front of her apartment, according to a local newspaper clipping published by the sheriff’s office.

“Investigative leads into Lass’ disappearance have been exhausted and the case remains unsolved,” the sheriff’s office said. Until an unidentified human skull was discovered on Highway 20 near Interstate 80 near Lake Tahoe in 1986.

In the decades that followed, the skull was kept in the Placer County Coroner’s Office.

A Cold Case Team was recently created by the Placer County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office to allocate “additional resources to assist in the investigation of unsolved missing persons and death cases.” suspects.” The team recently sent the skull to the California Department of Justice for DNA testing.

“The California Department of Justice Bureau of Forensic Services was able to match DNA from the skull to DNA from a family member of Donna Lass, obtained by the South Lake Tahoe Police Department for missing persons case,” the sheriff’s office said. “This allowed them to identify the skull as the remains of Donna Lass.”

The South Lake Tahoe Police Department notified Lass’ surviving relatives last week that she had been located.

“We are extremely grateful that this team effort was able to bring closure to the Lass family and hope that cold case detectives can continue to make progress on these cases,” the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said .

Lass’ cause of death is unknown.

South Lake Tahoe Police are continuing to investigate and are asking anyone with information related to the case to contact detectives at cybertips@cityofslt.us.

California Daily Newspapers

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