"Buckskin Girl" case: DNA breakthrough leads to ID of 1981 murder victim

Alicia Farmer
April 13, 2018

Even a 21-year-old female who acquired the nickname after being found lifeless in OH in 1981, putting on denims and also a buckskin coat with an Native American style and design, was shown Wednesday to be Marcia L. King of all Arkansas. In 2009, her mitochondrial DNA profile was developed at the NamUs DNA lab, and both genetic profiles of the deceased were entered into the FBI's Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).

But as the DNA drifted through these databases, it remained a piece of an unsolved puzzle until it landed at the DNA Doe Project, a nonprofit organization recently created to apply genetic genealogy tools to the identification of unknown persons.

Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest The Miami County Sheriff's Office announced on Wednesday that Jane Doe, aka "Buckskin Girl", has been positiviely identifed as Marcia L. King, 21, of Arkansas, following a almost four decade-long investigation.

A series of DNA profiles and studies were done on the victim, who became known as "Buckskin Girl" over the years.

"Buckskin Girl" was one of those cases.

The relative gave a sample of their DNA to the Miami Valley Regional crime lab, which confirmed the match.

Miami County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Steve Lord tells Piqua Daily Call that King's mother now plans to update the headstone marking her grave site at Riverside Cemetery in Troy, which currently bears the name "Jane Doe" and the date April 22, 1981, which was the day the she was believed to have been killed during the initial investigation.

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King's family has been notified - but they wish to remain confidential. Pollens studies of her clothing and studies of her hair were also conducted. "We've had a long journey to where we are today".

Lord said the investigation now shifts to solving the homicide.

"The identification of this casualty is crucial in improving the investigation towards finding the man or woman or individuals responsible with this offense", the Miami County Sheriff's workplace stated. At best, it is known that King had some connections to the cities of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Louisville, Kentucky.

It's not clear what brought her from Arkansas to Ohio.

Confirmation of King's identity came on Monday.

"Law enforcement never forgets", said Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak at a press conference Wednesday. As of this writing, King's headstone reads simply: "Jane Doe".

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