Friday, May 24

Deputies use genetic genealogy to ID woman found dead in Indian River County in 1982

The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office said it has used genetic genealogy to identify a woman whose body was found in a canal beside a state road, over 40 years ago.

The sheriff’s office said it has identified Evelyn Horne Townsend of Perry, Florida as the woman who was found dead on Sept. 1, 1982 along west State Road 60.

The sheriff’s office made the announcement Tuesday during a news conference.

The department said they used genetic testing to identify a half sibling who confirmed that Townsend, who was born on May 9, 1939, was indeed their missing relative.

Genetic genealogy has proven time and time again to be an essential investigative tool to help bring law enforcement closer to solve decades-old cold cases, FDLE Senior Crime Intelligence Analyst Supervisor Debbie Abney said.

The Indian River County Sheriffs Office said the investigation into her death continues.

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