PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The FBI has positively identified the remains of a woman found at the Waterfront in 2000.
In June of 2009, three women went to their final resting place at Woodruff Memorial Park unnamed.
Allegheny County Police detectives and the Allegheny County Medical Examiner sought to solve the mystery of who they were for years.
For one of them, that has now been accomplished.
“It’s a fascinating case, a fascinating case not only for the ability to identify her remains, but how much has changed even in the last five years,” says Allegheny County Medical Examiner Dr. Karl Williams.
In October of 2000, the mummified and partially skeletal remains of a woman dressed only in light-colored socks were discovered in an old railroad tunnel near the Waterfront in Homestead.
A facial reconstruction was done, and she now has a name – Amanda Sue Myers of Pittsburgh. She was 22-years-old.
The recent identification was possible because of national data banks like “NamUs.”
“And it’s only been within two years that we have the ability through that network to run DNA on any unidentified remains,” said Dr. Williams.
Amanda was only reported missing in 2007 by her grandmother. That’s when police and the Medical Examiner began to rework the case.
“We came to the possible identity of relatives of the unknown woman,” Dr. Williams added.
Contact was made with the family.
“That allowed us to get DNA specimens,” he said.
Those specimens from the family were sent to the FBI laboratory where a perfect match for samples of bone taken from the body before burial.
Amanda’s family, who had held out hope for so long, were notified.
“I think it gives them the element of relief,” Dr. Williams added. “The worst is not having any idea.”
On a Missing Persons’ website, Amanda Myers’ life is described as transient; that she had given birth to twins, but gave them up for adoption and both her arms had cutting scars from wrist to elbows.
Officials still don’t know how or why Amanda died, but now that she’s identified, police will have more clues and perhaps, eventually, they’ll solve that too.