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Body found in Virginia landfill cold case could have connections to Lynchburg, Buena Vista

Chesterfield Police are still working to identify a woman whose remains were recovered at a landfill in Chesterfield County in 1986.
Chesterfield Police are still working to identify a woman whose remains were recovered at a landfill in Chesterfield County in 1986. (Chesterfield Police Department)

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. – Authorities believe the woman whose body was found in a Virginia landfill in 1986 could have ties to our area.

On Aug. 7, 1986, workers were unloading trash from the School Street transfer station in Richmond at a Chesterfield landfill when they noticed what appeared to be human remains.

The autopsy and other tests revealed that the remains were those of a white woman, about 22 years old to 32 years old. She was likely between 5 feet 1 inch and 5 feet 5 inches tall, likely weighed between 105 pounds and 120 pounds and wore a size 7 or size 7 ½ shoe.

With the assistance of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the Virginia Department of Forensic Science, Chesterfield County Police worked to identify the woman. Chesterfield County investigators and the OCME have ruled out multiple missing persons through extensive investigative techniques, including DNA comparisons.

To date, the victim remains unidentified.

Last year, detectives sought the services of Parabon NanoLabs, a DNA technology company in Reston, Virginia, that specializes in DNA phenotyping, which is the process of predicting physical appearance and ancestry from unidentified DNA evidence.

Chesterfield Police are still working to identify a woman whose remains were recovered at a landfill in Chesterfield County in 1986.
Chesterfield Police are still working to identify a woman whose remains were recovered at a landfill in Chesterfield County in 1986. (Chesterfield County Police Department)

Using DNA evidence from this investigation, the company produced trait predictions for the unknown woman.

Individual predictions were made for her ancestry, eye color, hair color, skin color, freckling, and face shape. By combining these attributes of appearance, a snapshot composite was produced depicting what the unknown woman may have looked like at 25 years old and with an average body-mass index of 22.

Detectives have determined that the victim in this case may have had ties to the following locations:

  • Richmond metropolitan area
  • Charlottesville
  • Buena Vista
  • Lynchburg
  • Baltimore, Maryland

Anyone with information regarding the identity of the victim is urged to contact the Chesterfield County Unsolved/Major Investigations Group at 804-717-6024.


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