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Remains of young Clarksville mom Susan Lund, missing since 1992, identified in Illinois

CLARKSVILLE, TN (CLARKSVILLE NOW) – Human remains found in Illinois in 1993 were identified this week as being those of a Clarksville woman who went missing 29 years ago, and they were discovered only a month after her disappearance.

The Jefferson County, Illinois, Sheriff’s Office and Redgrave Research Forensic Services have confirmed the identity of “Ina Jane Doe,” an unidentified woman whose remains were discovered in 1993, the Sheriff’s Office announced in a news conference this morning.

Susan Lund, 25, was last seen by her family on Christmas Eve 1992, when she reportedly left her home in Clarksville to walk to a grocery store. Her husband reported her missing soon after.

One month later, on Jan. 27, 1993, near the town of Ina, Illinois, the head of a white female was discovered on the side of a wooded roadway in Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park. The woman was estimated between 30 and 50 years of age, and may have had torticollis or “wry neck syndrome,” a condition that may have caused her head to have a sideways tilt during life, according to a news release from Redgrave.

The woman’s identity remained unknown for over two decades.
New technology applied

In February 2021, Dr. Amy Michael, assistant professor of anthropology, University of New Hampshire, approached Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to offer a reexamination of the case using updated forensic methods. Writer and researcher Laurah Norton collaborated with Michael on the reanalysis. It was determined that the woman likely did not appear significantly asymmetrical during life, and a new forensic image was created by artist Carl Koppelman.

“As forensic methods are updated and refined, it is critical to reevaluate cold cases and utilize new approaches, like forensic genetic genealogy, alongside anthropology to achieve identification,” Michael said in the release.

Meanwhile, samples from Ina Jane Doe’s remains were sent to Astrea Forensics, a laboratory in Santa Cruz, California, to create a DNA profile suitable for using forensic genetic genealogy. A DNA profile was provided to Redgrave, a genealogy company in Massachusetts, who then uploaded the data file to GEDmatch on Feb. 3, 2022.

Anthony Redgrave, co-founder of Redgrave Research, said in the release, “My team was honored to be brought in as part of the collaboration to identify this woman, and had Susan’s family in mind long before we discovered her name.”

Redgrave’s genealogy team arrived at a potential match within a day, then found out that Lund had been reported missing, with no date of death. The potential ID was passed to law enforcement, who then followed up with family members of Susan Lund. A DNA sample was provided by a sibling for direct comparison. On March 6, it was confirmed that Ina Jane Doe is Susan Lund.

The collaborating investigators, scientists and genealogists extend their deepest sympathies to Lund’s family and friends, the release said. Any information about the actions and/or whereabouts of Lund on or following Dec. 24, 1992, should be directed to Detective Capt. Bobby Wallace at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at 618-244-8004, or email
About Susan Lund

Lund had three young children, all under age 6, and was pregnant when she went missing from her home on Harrier Court, off Jack Miller Boulevard, according to Leaf-Chronicle archives from 1993. Her husband, Paul Lund, was a Fort Campbell soldier.

Clarksville Police abandoned the search for Susan Lund after two weeks, saying they believed she had left Clarksville “by her own choice” and was alive and well living in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, where they said she was seen the week after Christmas.

A few weeks later, Paul Lund said his wife had been seen on Interstate 65 near Louisville, “looking thin, pale, attired in the same clothes she was wearing the night she vanished,” according to a Feb. 24, 1993, Leaf-Chronicle article.

Paul Lund said he believed his wife had been kidnapped, because she had her checkbook with her but had not written any checks.

Leaf-Chronicle archives from 1993 were used in this report.
Ina Jane Doe has been identified as Susan Lund, 25, from Clarksville, TN.

Caddo County Jane Doe has been identified as 20-year-old Katrina Kay (Burton) Bentivegna of Midwest City, Oklahoma.

Katrina Bentivegna

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 11, 2022) – The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) is announcing that the remains of a woman found partially buried in Caddo County in 1995 have been identified as 20-year-old Katrina Bentivegna of Midwest City, Oklahoma.

The OSBI Cold Case Unit, including criminalists in the Biology Unit at the OSBI Forensic Science Center, submitted Bentivegna’s DNA to Parabon Nanolabs in March of 2021. Parabon submitted results back to the OSBI with possible genetic matches in August of 2021. Agents then contacted possible relatives requesting DNA samples to compare to Bentivegna’s. Recently, OSBI agents were notified the comparisons were a match and Bentivegna’s family was notified that she was positively identified.

“We are thrilled to be able to reunite Katrina with her family,” said OSBI Director Ricky Adams. “While it took 27 years to be able to deliver the news, we never stopped working to identify Katrina. We pursue all options available at the time for victims and sometimes we have to wait for technological advances like forensic genetic genealogy. The first step in cases like this is to identify the victim. Now we continue our pursuit of justice for Katrina.”

Bentivegna’s dismembered body was discovered near Route 66 and Highway 281 in Caddo County on April 24, 1995. The Caddo County Sheriff’s Office requested OSBI assistance with the investigation. It was difficult to identify Bentivegna at the time because her feet, hands and head were removed from her body. In 1996, a skull was found that the OSBI later confirmed through DNA comparison belonged to the body found in 1995. Over the years, agents have pursued numerous leads in an effort to identify Bentivegna with help from the Caddo County Sheriff’s Office, Oklahoma Office of Chief Medical Examiner, as well as the FBI.

“The family of Katrina Kay (Burton) Bentivegna is very appreciative of the hard work and countless hours of time the teams from the Caddo County Sheriff’s Office and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation put in to help identify the body of our beloved mother, daughter, sister, cousin, niece and friend. At this time, we request no contact or inquiries.”
Bentivegna’s maiden name was Burton. She was originally from Colorado and arrived in Oklahoma in the summer of 1993. She was married in November of 1993 and is survived by her son (unnamed).

“I appreciate all the hard work the OSBI has put into identifying my mother,” Katrina’s son said. “There have been many unanswered questions over the past 27 years but now I have closure in knowing what happened to my mom.”

If you knew Katrina (Burton) Bentivegna or have any information on her murder, please contact the OSBI at (800) 522-8017 or email You can remain anonymous.
Identified as Roberta Seyfert

Status: Identified
On February 4, 2022, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office (RCMEO) and the DNA Doe Project (DDP) announced the identity of the remains of a woman discovered near Lilydale, Minnesota in 1976 as that of Roberta Seyfert. Using investigative genetic genealogy, DDP was able to solve the forty-five-year-old cold case of the woman known only as Lilydale Jane Doe 1976 since her body was discovered.

Roberta SeyfertRoberta Seyfert was born in 1954 in Tucson, Arizona. Her body was found floating in the Mississippi River on June 11, 1976. Exactly how long her body had been in the water is unknown, but authorities estimate she died weeks earlier in 1976. Ms. Seyfert would have been 22 at the time of her death.

Using a DNA sample previously taken from the remains, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office contacted the DNA Doe Project in March of 2021 hoping to identify the woman using investigative genetic genealogy. The sample was processed to create a DNA profile that could be uploaded to GEDmatch, a public database, and by late June, 2021, the volunteer investigative genetic genealogists began to analyze the genetic matches.

The closest DNA matches were distant cousins. DDP’s Investigative Genetic Genealogy Research Team traced the Doe’s paternal line back to early eighteenth-century Luxembourg to find a common ancestor who had immigrated to the United States in the mid-1840’s. On July 3, 2021, the team arrived at a potential candidate for Jane Doe and notified the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Team Leader Rebecca Somerhalder stated, “Even though the highest match was in the distant cousin range, our team of investigative genetic genealogists were able to quickly follow the DNA connections which led to giving Roberta her name back. We are honored to have had the opportunity to work on this case and to have played a part in bringing her home to her family.”

The DNA Doe Project wishes to acknowledge the contributions of the groups and individuals who helped solve this case: the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office and Dr. Butch Huston, who entrusted the case to the DNA Doe Project; Michael Woods of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Forensic Science Services; HudsonAlpha Discovery for sequencing; Kevin Lord of Saber Investigations for bioinformatics; GEDmatch for providing their database; our generous donors who contributed to this case; and DDP’s dedicated teams of volunteer investigative genetic genealogists who work tirelessly to bring victims home
Identified as 67-year-old Jean Turner Ponders, of Roswell, Georgia.

Human remains found outside Talladega Superspeedway in 2012 identified as missing Georgia woman

LINCOLN, Ala. (WIAT) — Human remains that were found in Lincoln nearly a decade ago have now been identified as belonging to a woman from Georgia who reportedly went missing around the same time.

In a news release from the Lincoln Police Department, remains that police found outside an abandoned building in Talladega County on May 5, 2012 were recently identified as being those of 67-year-old Jean Turner Ponders, of Roswell, Georgia. According to police, Ponders’ cause of death was determined to have been from lung cancer by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences.

According to Ofc. Tim Lupo with the Roswell (Georgia) Police Department, Ponders was reported missing by her sister in September 2015, approximately three years after she last heard from her.

The case began in 2012 when a deputy with the Talladega County Sheriff’s Office and a reserve officer working at the Talladega Superspeedway during race week located human remains behind an abandoned residence on Allred Road in Lincoln. At the time, Ponders’ remains couldn’t be identified due to them being too decomposed to collect fingerprint evidence. In August 2012, Ponders’ remains were entered into NCIC and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, but her description did not match any local missing persons cases and the case went cold.

“If not for considerable assistance from Othram, Inc. located in Texas, which is a forensic sequencing laboratory for law enforcement and a forensic genetic genealogist named Carla Davis, Lincoln Police Department would still have a cold case,” the release stated. “Because of all this assistance and hundreds of investigative hours put in by Lincoln Police investigators over the years, Ms. Ponders has her identity back.”

Ponders’ case remains open and police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding her ending up in Alabama. Anyone with information on Ponders and the circumstances leading to her remains being left in Lincoln are encouraged to call Capt. Shannon Hallmark with the LPD at 205-763-4064 or Investigator Demarco Willis at 205-763-4070.

Woman found in Thousand Palms shallow grave in 1994 identified by cold case team

A woman in her late 50s found wrapped in a plastic sheet and buried in a shallow grave near Thousand Palms in 1994 has been identified by authorities nearly three decades later.

The Riverside County District Attorney's Office announced Monday that the remains belonged to Patricia Cavallaro, 57, of Bellflower, after her DNA was matched with one of her surviving children.

DA Supervising Investigator Ryan Bodmer, who manages the county's Regional Cold Case Homicide Team, said Cavallaro's remains are among about 700 his team hopes can be identified if more people who are missing a relative contribute DNA profiles to databases investigators can access.

"With a cold case, genetics are really the only way to move the investigation forward," Bodmer said. "This tool creates an environment to do real detective work in a case where there are no leads."

Senior Investigator Mike Thompson, who is working the open case, said most homicide investigations start with identifying the body, interviewing relatives and identifying suspects from there. Typically, he added, homicide victims are killed by someone they know.

But this investigation couldn't progress along those lines until the body was identified, Thompson said, which proved to be difficult.

Riverside County Sheriff's Deputies found the remains on Oct. 24, 1994, about a half-mile north of Varner Road between Date Palm Drive and Ramon Road.

"There was no evidence that immediately identified her," Thompson said. "When you don't know who they are or where they came from, it becomes very difficult. It quickly became a cold case."

Thompson said the autopsy determined she had died from homicidal violence. The lack of evidence near where she was found indicated she had likely been killed elsewhere and buried in the desert. And for about 30 years, her identity remained a mystery.

Joseph DelGiudice, chief of the DA's Bureau of Investigation, and Bodmer established the multi-agency cold case team in 2020, with Thompson and investigators from the sheriff's department and Riverside Police Department. The team collaborates with federal and state authorities to utilize databases of genetic information belonging to missing persons.

"If we can find someone we think is a relative, and do a direct DNA search of them, then we could confirm the identity of the remains," Bodmer said.

The team sent a small sample of the woman's remains to a laboratory in Texas, called Othram Inc. With her genetic information, investigators started the time-consuming work of sketching out a potential family tree.

Thompson described the process as giving Patricia Cavallaro her identity back by tracking evidence of her life until it disappeared. She was born in 1937 and had family in Western New York, he said. She moved to California sometime in the 1960s, was his best guess. She lived in Bellflower, in Los Angeles County, and had two children and a husband, records showed.

Her husband died in 2017, he added. And only one of her children, her son, could be located. She was reported missing in 2001, he said, adding her husband told police she "walked away" from home and was never seen again.

"You follow the evidence and you see she was there, and then she just stopped existing in 1994," Thompson said. "After that, there's no evidence that she's alive or dead, no marriage or divorce records, no death certificate."

So the team spoke with her son to get more information. He declined to comment for this story. Bodmer said her son had expected she had died, but didn't know the circumstances.

He agreed to provide a DNA sample and the California Department of Justice said its analysis indicated a strong likelihood that the remains were Cavallaro's.

"How she got from Bellflower to Thousand Palms is a mystery," Thompson said, adding the investigation is still open.

DelGiudice and Bodmer emphasized that if the team is to make similar progress on the hundreds of other cold cases in the county that have been identified as being solvable with genetic profiling, the public's help will be critical.

"We have quite a number of unidentified bodies that clearly died under suspicious circumstances," DelGiudice said.

Private DNA services, like 23andMe and, have grown in popularity in recent years, Bodmer said, but law enforcement can't access the data they own. Services such as, however, can take the same DNA profiles and make them available to broader search, including cold-case investigators. 

Bodmer said there are several other cases that are close to similar breakthroughs, like Cavallaro's, if more genetic information was made available by people who have a missing relative.

He provided the example of a woman found dead of a violent attack in 1996, in her late 30s who had a Cesarean scar indicating she had at least one child. Bodmer said it's likely she was a first-generation immigrant with few records to help identify her.

"Someone alive knows who she is," Bodmer said. "Her child or children are probably in their late 20s."

A DNA sample from a direct relative, a brother or daughter, rather than a distant cousin can provide the genetic match needed in such a case that would otherwise likely remain perpetually unsolved.
Identified as Patricia Cavallaro, 57, of Bellflower, CA.


Warminster woman missing since 1992 identified as Bensalem murder victim found behind diner 26 years ago

Nearly 30 years after she disappeared, the woman whose body was found wrapped in plastic and buried in a shallow grave behind a popular 24-hour diner has a name again.

Now Bensalem police want to find out who killed Merrybeth Hodgkinson, a 31-year-old single mother of two who grew up in Bucks County and once danced at Lower Bucks strip clubs. 

The Bensalem detective overseeing the case has identified a person of interest who is already serving life in prison.
This 1979 high school yearbook photo shows Merrybeth Hodgkinson, who Bensalem police believe was murdered and dumped behind a diner sometime in 1992.

The mystery surrounding the woman known as Clubhouse Jane Doe was solved last month after her DNA profile was uploaded into an international database to build a genetic family tree.

Earlier this month, a DNA match with a living sibling confirmed the remains are Hodgkinson, who was last seen alive in 1992, Bensalem police said in a press release Monday announcing authorities had identified Hodgkinson.  More information will be released Tuesday at a news conference at the Bensalem headquarters.

It was the second time in less than a year that Bensalem Detective Chris McMullin and the department successfully used genetic matching technology for a Jane Doe case.

Children playing in a wooded area near the Clubhouse Diner off Street Road near Knights Road found the remains on Sept. 18, 1995.

The decomposed body of a naked woman was inside clear, heavy-gauge plastic wrap. Several pieces of clothing, two crucifixes and a wood beaded massage cushion were found buried nearby. No identification was found.
Two shirts found near the body of a woman police have identified as Merrybeth Hodgkinson. She was found wrapped in plastic and largely decomposed in 1995
Two crucifix found near the body of now identified as Merrybeth Hodgkinson in 1995.

Forensic experts estimated Jane Doe had been dead two to three years, according to police reports at the time.

She was described as white with olive skin, probably between 35 and 45 years old, and petite. Her jaw was square and she had wide set brown eyes. 

An autopsy determined the cause of death was strangulation. The manner of death was ruled a homicide.

The body did not fit the description of any reported missing persons in the area at the time and the investigation quickly went cold. 

The Bucks County Coroner’s Office quietly buried the remains in a plot at Trinity Cemetery in Telford. A marker listed the date she was found and the name “Unknown Jane Doe.”

The case file gathered dust until it caught the eye of McMullin in 2002, when he reopened a handful of cold cases in the department. He was a Bensalem patrolman in 1995 when the Clubhouse Diner body was found.
Identified as Merrybeth Hodgkinson


After almost 40 years, St. Louis Co. teen runaway identified as Arizona cold case victim

ST. LOUIS COUNTY — Nearly 40 years after the body of a girl was found on Valentine's Day off a northern Arizona highway, police have identified her as a teenage runaway from St. Louis County.

The Coconino County Sheriff's Office announced Monday that DNA had confirmed the homicide victim was Carolyn Eaton, a 17-year-old who was reported missing in 1981 from her home in Bellefontaine Neighbors.

Eaton was one of six sisters. She ran away after an argument sometime around Christmas in 1981, said Coconino County Sheriff's Office Lt. Jason Lurkins, who is working on the case.

Her body was found Feb. 14, 1982, by an Arizona state trooper off Interstate 40 in northern Arizona. The unidentified girl was soon dubbed “Valentine Sally” by authorities and became a well-known local cold case, Lurkins said.

Detectives exhausted all leads over the years but had been unable to determine the girl's identity. This year, they contracted with a company to compare DNA from the body with online ancestry databases and found a match with a first cousin in the St. Louis area, Lurkins said.

Detectives then traveled to St. Louis County to interview relatives, who confirmed they had a sibling who ran away in 1981.

"The family members were awestruck," Lurkins said. "We told one family member we were investigating a missing person case and they asked: Is this about Carolyn?"

Eaton's death was a homicide caused by some type of violence, but the state of the body made finding a more specific cause of death difficult, Lurkins said. The sheriff's office is continuing to search for a suspect.

Detectives believe a waitress at a truck stop near the remote area where Carolyn was found may have been among the last to see her, Lurkins said.

Patty Wilkins, Seligman, Arizona, told detectives at the time that on Feb. 2, 1982, while working the night shift at an Arizona truck stopped owned by her family, she served a girl matching Carolyn's description when she came in late with a man wearing a cowboy hat with a peacock feather in it.

Eaton told Wilkins she had a toothache, so Wilkins said she gave the young girl an aspirin for the left side of her mouth.

Police eventually found Eaton's body about a mile up the road from Wilkins' family truck stop. When an autopsy was done on Eaton's body, Wilkins said police told her the aspirin was still on Eaton's tooth.

"I could have pulled her off that truck. I could have forced her to stay with me. I could have called 911. I could have done a million different things that I didn't do. The only thing I did was put that aspirin on her," Wilkins said Monday in an interview with the Post-Dispatch.

The body had previously been misidentified through facial reconstruction as Melody Cutlip, a Florida teen who went missing around that time but was reunited with her family in 1986.

"I've been with this department 23 years now and every so often we'd hear about the Valentine Sally case," Lurkins said. "So when it broke like this, it was a big deal and I'm sure it's bringing up a lot for her family."

St. Louis County missing persons detective Tom Taylor aided Arizona investigators when they traveled to Missouri for the case.

"It is an absolute reminder that hope springs eternal for police investigators and someone with a missing family member," said Taylor, recalling when he got the call about the DNA matches. "And it shows the investigators kept this case alive over all these years."

Taylor said St. Louis County has open missing persons cases dating to 1955, though police investigations into runaways like Eaton have changed dramatically.

"The availability in technology makes a huge difference today," he said. "Today, everyone has a cellphone that is trackable, and that's not something that was around at the time of this case."

Bellefontaine Neighbors police Maj. Warren Williss also aided Arizona investigators and said he had spoken with a few retired officers from the department who remembered the family and Eaton's case. The department no longer had case files connected to the disappearance.

"It's nice to get some sense of resolution," Williss said. "I hope that knowing more about what happened can help the family in some way."
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