ANAHEIM (CBSLA) – It took 31 years, but thanks to DNA technology investigators announced this week that they have finally identified remains found more than three decades ago as those of a missing 20-year-old Anaheim woman who is suspected to have been murdered.
Tracey Coreen Hobson’s remains, a red handkerchief and a length of cord were found by a passerby on Aug. 30, 1987, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department reported Thursday.
The body was discovered in a grassy area just off Santa Canyon Road, about a half-mile from Gypsum Canyon Road. It’s estimated her body had been there for about two months, OCSD reports.
For years, sheriff’s investigators were unable to identify the body, even after attempting a clay model facial reconstruction, the first such model created by OCSD.
In 2005, DNA from the remains were extracted and uploaded to state and national missing person’s databases, but still did not achieve a match.
Last November, however, Hobson was tentatively identified with the help of the nonprofit group DNA Doe Project, which use genetic genealogy to identify victims. A family member of Hobson submitted DNA to the California Department of Justice, which the Doe Project was able to match to her.
The O.C. coroner’s office then used forensic dentistry to definitively confirm Hobson’s identity Tuesday.
Homicide detectives will now investigating Hobson’s murder, the sheriff’s department said. Anyone with information should contact O.C. Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.