MI JACKSON COUNTY DOE: Transgender Female, 20-45, found in garbage bag in Waterloo State Recreation Area, MI - 30 Aug 1978

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

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On August 30, 1978 the body of an individual was found in a garbage bag on the side of Clear Lake Road north of Interstate 94, in the Waterloo State Recreation Area in Jackson County, Michigan. The deceased, probably between 20 and 45 years old, is listed on NamUs as a Black female; however, DNA work prior to listing indicated the victim was born a Black male. The skeletal remains were found dressed in women’s clothing, wearing a wavy auburn collar-length wig. The victim was approximately 5’2 to 5’9 tall, was estimated to weigh 130 lbs, and had a sizable scar on the right shoulder. Because the deceased was found with another victim who was later identified as being from the Detroit area, detectives believe the unidentified individual may also have been from the Detroit metro area.



Scar/mark: There may have been a sizable scar on the anterior aspect of the right shoulder.
Other distinctive physical characteristic: Missing 10 teeth antemortem, including the two upper front teeth, and there is evidence of a healed nasal fracture.
Accessories: auburn, wavy, collar-length wig - Near the Body
Clothing: Blue jeans (26"waist, 33 1/2" inseam), violet colored long sleeved blouse (size 14, 100% silk, label "IRKA"), outer shell a beige colored long sleeve blouse (size 5/6, 100% polyester, label "RD2"), reddish brown nylon neck scarf, panty hose, bikini bra (34), bikini panties (size 4)
Footwear: Glossy black high heeled shoes (4 1/2" heel) with gold tassel ankle tie.


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SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

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After 43 years, DNA test provides new information in 1978 Jackson County cold case homicide​

After 43 years, researchers now have new information about a person found dead inside a garbage bag in the Waterloo State Recreation Area in 1978.

Through further investigation, the victim, originally identified as female, was discovered to have been born male, according to Carolyn Isaac, assistant professor in Michigan State University’s Department of Anthropology.

A team from MSU’s Forensic Anthropology Lab, the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office and Michigan State Police recently completed a reanalysis of the person revealed the skeletal morphologies for estimating biological sex were indeterminate, with some appearing more masculine and others more feminine, Isaac said in an email.

The team was concerned this could be hindering the identification of the person, so further DNA testing was completed to confirm the victim was born male, Isaac said.

The team has also been working with the DNA Doe Project and the Trans Doe Task Force in an effort to identify the victim.

“I really hope that we are on track to get this person identified. It breaks my heart that someone has been missing their loved one for all of these years,” Isaac said.
 

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