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Boone County Sheriff reopens 22-year-old cold case homicide

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BOONE COUNTY, Ind. (March 23, 2015) - The investigation into a young woman's death is being reopened 22 years later. Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen appointed two investigators to the case and he is hopeful they will be able to come up with some answers about her death.

The sheriff believes the woman's body had been there for days when a farmer discovered it on May 3, 1992. She was found face down in a ditch near the northbound ramp to I-65, near State Road 47. Investigators have looked at the case a number of times over the years but they have not been able to find her killer.

"She was just dumped like a bag of trash along the interstate and to me that's tragic no matter how she died," said Sheriff Nielsen.

Her identity is still unknown despite efforts to reconstruct her skull and examine dental records. She was buried in a cemetery near the Boone County Sheriff's Department with a simple headstone that reads, "unknown." Police exhumed the body in 1993 to do a clay reconstruction of the woman's skull.

"It always haunted me and the main reason is just because we've never been able to identify this female," said Sheriff Nielsen.

Sheriff Nielsen cannot say how the woman was killed because he believes that information could compromise the investigation. She was found partially clothed and had a tattoo that said "mom" on her right arm. Nielsen said details like that haunt him and push him to find closure for the woman's family.

Investigators spent Monday following up on leads. The sheriff is hopeful DNA testing will help identify the woman and lead detectives to her killer.

"Some opportunities have came up with DNA testing back then DNA testing existed but today there's so many advances in DNA technology that I think this case could be solved by DNA and it's really important that we take advantage of those and we've got a local lab in Indianapolis that is willing to do some testing for us and I'm pretty excited about that opportunity," said Sheriff Nielsen.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Boone County Sheriff's Department at 765-482-1412.