Still a mysteryRedhead unidentified after 59 years
DNA tests showed no link between two families searching for lost relatives and an unknown redheaded woman whose body was found in Morgan County in 1950.
It took almost two years to get the DNA test results, which were recently provided to West Virginia State Police by a lab at the University of North Texas.
The redhead's nude body was originally found near the Hancock Bridge in May, 1950. An autopsy showed the woman died from strangulation, but she was never identified, despite an exhaustive investigation and widespread publicity at the time.
The woman's body was buried in the potter's field section of Greenway Cemetery in Berkeley Springs.
In the summer of 2007, Sgt. D.B. Swiger, the Cold Case Investigator for West Virginia State Police, reopened the case after being contacted by a private investigator in Utah.
The detective was trying to track down what may have happened to Elizabeth Ann Bouslog Davis, who was in California when her family last heard from her in the early 1940s.
Davis' descendants had heard about the mystery of the redheaded woman here and wondered if she could be her.
The investigation led to the unknown woman's body being exhumed on August 22, 2007.
Bones from the gravesite and the necessary DNA samples from Davis' children were sent for labwork that fall.
Soon after, Sgt. Swiger received a second inquiry from another family who had heard about the exhumation. In that case, a woman was looking for information about her grandmother, an Ohio woman who disappeared around 1950 and fit the description of the redhead.
The Ohio woman was originally from Fairmont and was known to have visited this area at times. DNA samples were also taken from her relatives and submitted to the laboratory.
After a long wait, the tests showed that the DNA from the mystery woman did not match either of the two possibilities.
Sgt. Swiger said on Monday that the tests established a DNA profile for the redheaded woman. The information has been uploaded to a database that is used to match DNA profiles of missing persons.