BENSALEM, Pa. (CBS) — Bensalem police on Monday identified the remains of a human skull found in a wooded area behind the Club House Diner nearly 30 years ago as a missing Warminster woman. Authorities said sibling DNA comparison allowed investigators to ID the victim as Merrybeth Hodgkinson.
For about 29 years now, it’s quite possible that members of a Delaware Valley-area family have wondered about the whereabouts of their loved one. In June of this year, CBS3’s Joe Holden shone new light on the case of a deceased Jane Doe in an installment of CBS3 Mysteries.READ MORE: Hasein Strand Pleads Guilty To Some Charges In Connection To Shooting Death Of 8-Year-Old Fanta Bility
Now, a major facet of the case has been solved and now revealed.
BREAKING: Bensalem Police announce they’ve solved a 1995 Jane Doe human remains case. We now know she is MERRYBETH HODGKINSON of Warminster. #CBS3Mysteries profiled the cold case investigation in June: https://t.co/puBiGcxEIw @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/jccfWC3dQL
— Joe Holden (@JoeHoldenCBS3) December 20, 2021
“She deserves a proper resting place with her name on the headstone,” Det. Chris McMullin told CBS3 Mysteries in June. “John Doe or Jane Doe, that’s not the name they came into the world with, and we want to find out who they are and we want to give them back their identity and get them back to the family.”
Late Monday afternoon, Bensalem police got one step closer to that ultimate goal, announcing with confidence, the identity of the Jane Doe in this case.
They believe she’s Merrybeth Hodgkinson of Warminster, who went missing in 1992.READ MORE: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy Sworn In For Second Term
Here’s a picture of what she looked like.
This story started in part in September of 1995.
“It was a pretty big wooded area, and children would play there,” McMullin said. “There were a couple of kids playing and they saw what they thought was a turtle shell, and it turned out it was a human skull and that’s how she was discovered.”
In the years since attempts were made to aid in identifying Jane Doe. In 2007, her body was exhumed and DNA evidence was collected and entered into a system utilized by the FBI. But the big break came in November when a DNA profile for Jane Doe was created and uploaded into GEDmatch and FamilyTreeDNA.
All of that technological innovation led to sibling DNA comparison testing and that resulted in the identification of Merrybeth Hodgkinson, who was approximately 31 years old when she died in 1992.MORE NEWS: Victim Shoots, Kills 1 Of 3 Suspects During Attempted Car Theft In Southwest Philly, Police Say
A news conference will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Bensalem Township Municipal Building, which will be live-streamed on CBSN Philly.