A 44 Year Cold Case That’s Troubled Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania is Finally Solved
A New York man was charged with killing a pregnant teen whose body, along with her nearly full-term fetus, was chopped and stuffed into three suitcases dumped from a Pennsylvania river overpass in 1976.
The 15-year-old's remains were found along the Lehigh River in East Side Borough in Carbon County after being discovered by a teenage boy.
The authorities were never able to identify the victims. Until now, with the help of a DNA test.
The case was referred to by locals as "the Beth Doe of Carbon County," according to the Times News. She and her unborn daughter were buried in 1983 in the county cemetery.
After 44 years, Pennsylvania State Police said that "numerous interviews and investigational processes" led to her being identified as Evelyn Conlon, 15, of Jersey City.
Luis Sierra, 63, of Ozone Park in Queens, was charged with one count of criminal homicide and arrested. Police said the Carbon County, Pennsylvania District Attorney's Office would release more information at a later date.
Sierra was 19 years old in 1976. The district attorney did not reveal the relationship between Sierra and Conlon.
According to a 2016 news release by the District Attorney's Office, the girl had been sexually assaulted and dismembered. Her remains were placed in three suitcases with pieces of a blanket and thrown off Route 80.
The 2016 release said forensic investigators used tooth enamel, bone, and hair samples to identify the girl. The fetus underwent chemical stable and heavy isotope analysis.
A GoFundMe page created by a relative said DNA was used to identify Evelyn Conlon and her child.
"We never could have imagined this would be the way we would see her again. The gruesome brutality of Evelyn and her baby's murder have deeply broken us," Miriam Colon-Veltman says on the campaign page. "We are currently deciding baby names that Evelyn would have given to her baby girl."
Donations to the page will go to help with a memorial fund and travel arrangements.
"A special thank you to all of the people in Carbon County, Pennsylvania. You have loved Evelyn as much as we do for all 45 years," Colon-Veltman's page says.
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