Woman’s body found in trunk with head and hands missing in 1980 identified as missing woman of New York
The identity of a woman found headless and handsless in a gruesome murder has finally been solved.
More than 42 years ago, soldiers with the New York State Police responded to a travel trunk found near a dumpster in the Hudson View apartment complex in Fishkill, New York – about 70 miles north of Manhattan. Little could be determined about the body of the woman inside, known as “Dutchess Jane Doe Countybecause his head and hands were never found.
Earlier this year, Othram Inc., a Texas-based company specializing in forensic-grade genome sequencing, was asked by the FBI to examine Jane Doe’s DNA. Experts created a DNA profile, which led federal and state investigators into a line of genealogy investigation.
In May. On February 26, state police determined that County Duchess Jane Doe was Anne L. Papalardo-Blake, a 44-year-old New York woman who went missing to the NYPD on March 18, 1980.
Photo: DNA Solves
Papalardo-Blake worked as a receptionist at the Vidal Sassoon salon on 5th Avenue in Manhattan and was last seen leaving her workplace around 6:00 p.m.
On March 20, 1980 – two days after Paparlardo-Blake disappeared – a then unidentified body was found in this vault in Fishkill. Officials from the Dutchess County Medical Examiner’s Office speculated that Jane Doe was in her twenties, weighed around 135 pounds, and was five foot six inches tall. They also determined the size of the victim’s bra and shoes.
Much of the forensic investigation focused on the trunk in which the woman was found, which was believed to have been placed near the dumpster between noon and 10 p.m. on March 18, the same day the woman disappeared. Papalardo-Blake, according to NamUs. The case was green with black trim and brass fittings; stickers on the outside of the trunk indicated that the owner had traveled from New York to France in 1958 and returned in 1960.
The owner of the trunk was a woman named June Leaf, although it is unclear what relationship – if any – she might have had with Papalardo-Blake.
Photo: New York State Police
Jane Doe’s information was entered into NamUs in 2011, a hub for missing, unidentified and unclaimed people.
“The person or persons responsible for Anne’s death went to great lengths to ensure that she would not be identified,” said Kristen Mittelman, director of development at Othram. Oxygene.com. “But in the end, she was identified thanks to an amazing collaboration between the NYSP, the FBI and also the NamUs program, which funded Othram’s lab costs so that our team could develop a DNA profile.”
Othram Inc. uses DNASolves to fund and collect volunteer DNA to use the latest scientific methods, including genetic genealogy, to “solve intractable cases”.
So far, no details have been released about a possible suspect in the case. Investigators are continuing to “piece together the events” leading up to Papalardo-Blake’s homicide and are asking anyone with information to contact the New York State Police at 1-845-677-7300 with the number for reference 3020974.