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California homicide victim whose decomposed remains were found off cliff in 1967 is identified

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May5,2024

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (TCD) — Investigators recently identified a homicide victim whose remains were found at the bottom of a cliff nearly 60 years ago.

According to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, on Feb. 3, 1967, officials located a female victim’s decomposed body off Highway 1 with multiple fractures to her skull and ribs. Investigators were unable to identify the victim or determine how she sustained the injuries at the time. She was buried at a county cemetery as a Jane Doe.

Officials exhumed Jane Doe’s body in 2009 and, with the help of a new examination, concluded the victim was a white woman between 40 and 46 years old. The California Department of Justice and the sheriff’s office submitted forensic evidence to Othram Inc. in 2022 to help identify Jane Doe. Deputies said Othram analyzed the DNA the following year, and they created a comprehensive DNA profile. Using forensic genetic genealogy, investigators produced investigative leads and narrowed down possible relatives.

Testing showed that the victim was between 5-foot-2 and 5-foot-4, and she wore a white blouse with light-colored pants when she was killed. Jane Doe reportedly died in 1966, and she was a victim of homicide.

The sheriff’s office announced May 8 that they identified Jane Doe as Lillian Cardenas. Cardenas reportedly lived in San Francisco but had been estranged from her family before her death.

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Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “California homicide victim whose decomposed remains were found off cliff in 1967 is identified”
  1. Was there any specific breakthrough in the investigation that led to the positive identification of Lillian Cardenas after all these years?

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