Po­lice ID Jane Doe killed 43 years ago

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - News -

SAN FRAN­CISCO (AP) — A San Fran­cisco mur­der vic­tim known for 43 years as Jane Doe #40 has been iden­ti­fied by in­ves­ti­ga­tors as Judy Gif­ford, a 14-yearold girl from New Jersey whose aunt kept the same phone num­ber for decades in case her niece tried to call, ac­cord­ing to a news­pa­per re­port Fri­day.

The girl’s body was dis­cov­ered par­tially buried in sand by a man walk­ing his dog near San Fran­cisco’s Lake Merced on Oct. 1, 1976. Po­lice found a gold chain with an owl pen­dant in the girl’s pocket,

Homi­cide cold case de­tec­tives and miss­ing per­sons in­ves­ti­ga­tors launched a joint in­ves­ti­ga­tion in early 2019, the San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle re­ported.

While comb­ing through un­solved cases, in­ves­ti­ga­tors found a re­port filed in 2017 that said Gif­ford had dis­ap­peared in San Fran­cisco around the same time that Jane Doe #40 was killed in 1976, San Fran­cisco po­lice said.

Gif­ford’s half-brother, Wil­liam Shin, re­ported his sis­ter miss­ing to San Fran­cisco po­lice at an un­known date af­ter he “re­mem­bered hav­ing a sis­ter when he was a child,” New Jersey State Po­lice said.

“He told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that his sis­ter went miss­ing when she was 14 years old, and his fam­ily had not seen or heard from her since 1976,” New Jersey State Po­lice said.

In June, de­tec­tives col­lected cheek swabs from Gif­ford’s paternal aunt, Ogee Gif­ford.

Of­fi­cials also col­lected pho­to­graphs and den­tal records. In some of the pho­to­graphs of Judy Gif­ford, de­tec­tives no­ticed she was wear­ing a neck­lace with an owl pen­dant, of­fi­cials said.

The Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Jus­tice an­nounced last month that Jane Doe #40 had been pos­i­tively iden­ti­fied as Gif­ford, based on test­ing of fam­ily DNA.

On Nov. 22, de­tec­tives vis­ited Ogee Gif­ford’s Southamp­ton, N.J., home to de­liver the news that her niece was the cold case vic­tim.

“Ms. Gif­ford, who has never changed her phone num­ber in case her niece ever called, was brought some clo­sure as a re­sult of the joint ef­fort,” New Jersey State Po­lice said.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Gif­ford’s homi­cide re­mains open.

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