A Pennsylvania woman who was potentially thought to be the unidentified victim in a 42-year-old death has been discovered alive and well, according to a statement made by state police on Oct. 13. Police still hope to identify the victim.
The case dates to Oct. 9, 1973, when a pair of game wardens in Union Township came upon a foul stench in a wooded area, believing it to be a deer carcass. After a closer look, the pair discovered the naked, decomposing body of a 16 to 20-year-old white female. She appeared to have been dead for one to three weeks, according to Penn Live.
Four local girls had been reported missing at the time the body was found, including Betsy Langjahr, the woman long thought to be the victim.
Although the case has never gone cold, police had not been able to clear Langjahr through interviews, DNA samples or Social Security records. After a press conference held on the Jane Doe victim on Oct. 9, police received tips that helped them locate Langjahr, who they confirmed is alive and well.
During the press conference, police presented a 3-D bust of the victim. The bust is extremely detailed, and the artist had been able to use measurements of bone and skin to give a better idea of what the victim looked before her death.
The discovery reopens the mystery of who Jane Doe is. State Trooper Nathan Trate said the victim could have been a teenager who ran away from Talbot Hall, a home for troubled for teens in Jonestown, according to the Reading Eagle. He added that information about the victim might also lead to information about how she died.
Trate said he thinks about the girl every day and believes the case will be solved.
"I don't lose faith. I can't, not for her. I won't. I won't lose faith for her. Because I think that's what we all stand up here for. We have to give her a voice, we have to do everything we possibly can to try to figure this thing out."