Body found off Lake Michigan in 1988 exhumed for DNA

November 12, 2021 GMT

NEW BUFFALO, Mich. (AP) — Authorities exhumed the remains of a woman and took a DNA sample to try to determine her identity, more than 33 years after the body washed ashore off Lake Michigan in southwestern Michigan.

Investigators believe the woman was 40 to 60 years old, 5 feet, 5 inches tall and 175 pounds. She was wearing jeans, a bra, black boots but no top.

The exhumation at a cemetery in Berrien County occurred Tuesday, state police said Friday.

Investigators plan to use genetic information to try to learn the identity. The body washed ashore in New Buffalo on April 8, 1988.

State police Det. Trooper John Moore said the lack of an identity at the time was “definitely baffling.” But he feels confident that the mystery could be quickly solved, especially because of today’s technology.

Authorities believe the woman drowned, though the circumstances aren’t known.

She had a porcelain bridge replacing a front tooth, dental work that was considered experimental at the time, police said.

Anyone with information can call (269) 683-4411 or (269) 469-1500.