The body of a girl found on an Arizona highway on Valentine’s Day about 40 years ago has been identified as the escape of a Missouri teenager, sheriff’s officials said.
Coconino County Sheriff Jim Driscoll Announced monday That DNA confirmed that 17-year-old Carolyn Eaton was a young housewife who met the interstate victim on February 14, 1982, 40 west of Williams, ending a decades-old search to identify the girl. , Formerly known simply as “Valentine Sally”.
Authorities said Eaton lived in Bellefontaine Neighbors in St. Louis County when he fled his home in 1981 or around Christmas.
An Arizona State trooper found the dead girl while assisting another motorist, but investigators were unable to identify how DNA was compared to the online genealogy database by working with the company earlier this year .
“Through this process, detectives were able to locate Caroline’s potential family members, obtain DNA samples from them and confirm the body’s identity as Caroline,” department officials said on Monday. “Recent breakthroughs in DNA technology have allowed law enforcement agencies to identify victims as well as suspects in cold cases such as these.”
DNA from the girl’s body eventually matches up with a first cousin in the St. Louis area, the Coccanino County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jason Larkin Told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Detectives said detectives again traveled to greater St. Louis to interview relatives who said they had a brother who fled the house around Christmas in 1981, sheriff’s officials said.
“Family members were disregarded,” Larkins told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We told a family member that we were investigating the case of a missing person and they asked: Is this about Caroline?”
Linton said Eaton, who was one of six sisters, was the victim of a murder, but the condition of her body was prevented from reducing a specific cause of death.
Eaton is believed to have been kept dead for about two weeks before the discovery, According to the National Center for Missing and Expelled Children.
The search for a suspect in his death continues, sheriff officials said.