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The Tragic Case of Buckskin Girl

The Buckskin Girl

By Rare StoriesPublished about a month ago 3 min read
The Buckskin Girl

On a quiet April morning in 1981, a surprising and sad discovery was made in a ditch on Greenlee Road in Newton Township, near Troy, Ohio. Three young men found the lifeless body of a young Caucasian woman curled up in a fetal position, wearing a distinctive buckskin jacket. This led to her being nicknamed "Buckskin Girl."

They quickly called the authorities, and an investigation started right away. She was autopsied that same afternoon, revealing that she'd been the victim of a violent crime with severe injuries to her head and neck, including signs of strangulation. They estimated she had been dead for about 48 hours before her body was found. Strangely, she wasn’t wearing shoes or socks, adding mystery to an already perplexing case.

The Body of the Buckskin Girl with visible trauma to her head

They discovered her liver had been lacerated, and that she had not been sêxually assaulted. She had a very pointed nose and a ruddy complexion which hinted at the fact that she had spent a lot of time outdoors in the weeks leading up to her death.

The Search for Her Identity

From the day she was found, detectives worked hard to figure out who Buckskin Girl was. They checked dental records and fingerprints against databases, hoping for a match.

They analyzed eyewitness accounts and composite sketches, and the media spread her image far and wide, hoping someone would recognize her.

The initial media coverage of the murder led to roughly two hundred potential leads. While all of these leads were investigated, none of them ultimately proved fruitful. A composite drawing of her was publicized in local newspapers and broadcast on television networks on April 28, 1981.

A recreated image of the Buckskin Girl

Despite all the efforts, her identity remained a mystery for years, frustrating everyone involved.

A Breakthrough with Technology

Advancements in technology and the growing reliance on DNA analysis within criminal investigations enabled investigators to extract her DNA from the blood sample that had been preserved since 1981. This DNA sample was then added to the expanding collection of law enforcement databases.

In 2001, the Miami Valley Regional Crime Laboratory managed to create a DNA profile for the then-unidentified "Buckskin Girl." They uploaded this DNA data into the newly launched National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) in 2008. This made her fingerprints, dental records, and DNA information accessible nationwide to law enforcement. Using this information, investigators could confirm that 226 missing teenage girls and young women were not "Buckskin Girl." In 2009, they submitted a mitochondrial DNA sample to the FBI for inclusion in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).

Despite these investigations, the identity of the Buckskin Girl was still not known.

Marcia Lenore King

Hope was fading until 2018 when breakthroughs in technology finally paved the way to identify her. The DNA Doe Project, working with the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab and Full Genomes Corporation, managed to identify her as Marcia Lenore King, a 21-year-old from Little Rock, Arkansas. Her family had been searching for her since she went missing in 1980.

King was last seen by her family in 1980. Although she was never officially reported as missing, her family kept looking for her. It's believed that King often hitchhiked, a theory investigators had held for a while before finally identifying her.

Now known as Marcia, the investigation shifted focus to understanding her last days. She had been seen in Louisville, Kentucky, and Arkansas shortly before her death, leading to various theories about what happened to her.

Discussing the recent updates, Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchalk said, "We are always committed to achieving justice for homicide victims and their families. We won't ever forget them, and we will keep working on the case. As new technologies emerge, we'll reassess our evidence to see if it's worth re-submitting."

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Comments (1)

  • Scott Christensonabout a month ago

    So many scary kidnapping back in the 1980s & 90s when I was a kid. Now the world is so much safer bcz of all the surveillance cameras, but people are more worried. Thanks news media.

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