New York teen murder victim 'Midtown Jane Doe' identified decades after death

Source: NYPD

'Midtown Jane Doe' has been identified through advanced DNA and genealogical testing.

April 29, 2024, published at 1:30 PM ET

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Midtown Jane Doe years later identified Nypd
Source: NYPD

Construction workers discovered the remains in 2003.

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Midtown Jane Doe years later identified the handout as Det Ryan
Source: Handout

NYPD Detective Ryan Glas said his team can now work on “finding the killer.”

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Her remains were first discovered by a construction crew in February 2003, when workers broke through a concrete slab in the basement of a former famous Hell's Kitchen rock and roll club, The Scene, located at 301 W. 46th St. Her skull rolled around the basement, leading to the discovery of skeletal remains.

The victim was believed to be between 17 and 19 years old when she was strangled, tied with electrical wire and wrapped in carpet before being cemented into the building. A wristwatch, a monogrammed signet ring with the initials “PMcG” and children's toys were discovered along with the remains.

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Midtown Jane Doe was identified years later
Source: NYPD

Genetic material from Midtown Jane Doe's skull was used to trace a family tree.

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When the skeletal remains were discovered in 2003, forensic testing was limited; But thanks to the progress in this field an increase in genealogical tracking used to identify victims and solve cold casesdetectives were able to use genetic material from Midtown Jane Doe's skull to find a possible family tree.

“We used forensic investigative genealogy to produce that family tree among the Forensic Investigation Units of the NYPD Crime Lab,” Glas explained. “That hit came back in early 2023.”

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Glas and his team began searching the family tree and interviewing possible relatives. While the paternal side yielded no results, investigators discovered a 90-year-old woman from Florida who turned out to be a distant cousin of the victim.

The woman said she remembered her sister babysitting younger cousins ​​when she lived in Brooklyn decades ago — and further DNA testing suggested one of the cousins ​​was Midtown Jane Doe.

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with st building
Source: NYPD

Cold case detectives also used familial DNA submitted to identify the 9/11 victims to determine Midtown Jane's identity.

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Glas revealed that they were able to confirm the victim's identity using a DNA sample from a 9/11 victim. Family members submitted DNA in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in hopes of identifying the victims. One of those family members turned out to be a relative of Midtown Jane Doe.

“The genetic genealogy used [from her skeleton] is just a clue – Jane Doe was identified through her distant genetic relatives,” Glad said.

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Now that Midtown Jane Doe's remains have been identified, investigators are said to be working to track down her killer.

“We are still working to obtain information about him in an effort to verify what his situation was with her,” Glas noted. “What I can say at this point in the investigation is that he has a connection to where she was found.”

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