SALEM TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Investigators believe they have finally identified a body found in a Salem Township landfill nearly 50 years ago.
In September of 1967, a body was discovered in the Colvan Sanitation Landfill by a man searching for scrap metal.
Due to heavy decomposition, investigators were only able to identify the body as belonging to an African-American female between the ages of 14-16.
In 2015, Pennsylvania State Trooper Brian Gross executed a court order to exhume the victim’s body from a a pauper’s grave. News of this was reported by local media, prompting the Thompson Family to contact authorities, saying they believed the body found belonged to their sister, then-13-year-old Teala Patricia Thompson.
“Before my mom passed away, she told me my sister was murdered, and she’s up in Greensburg,” said Mary Thompson.
The family provided a DNA sample which was sent to the University of North Texas Health and Science Center. On Aug. 1, the center contacted police, saying that the remains of the unidentified female were 47.5 billion times more likely to be related to the Thompson Family than someone else.
“It’s kind of a mixed emotion, ’cause you have to deliver a family that their loved one has been identified an decease, but on the other hand for 48 years, nobody knew who this young girl was, and now we know, which is remarkable,” no said Trooper Brian Gross.
Mary Thompson told KDKA her heart was lifted because Trooper Gross cared enough to solve a painful family mystery.
State police are asking anyone with information that would lead to who killed Teala Patricia Thompson.