State uses DNA to solve mystery of body found in 1996 - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

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State uses DNA to solve mystery of body found in 1996

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The questions surrounding the identity of a Youngstown woman are answered nearly 17 years later.

The body of Jacqueline Rowe was found inside an abandoned garage at this house on the city's North side in 1996. The 35-year-old went missing around the same time her body was found, but with no missing persons report on file, police had no clue she was gone.

Her daughter's DNA samples were sent to the Ohio Attorney General's LINK program in 2013 and soon after, the state found a match. Rowe, who was thought to have skipped town, was the woman authorities found all those years ago, the 23rd identification made through the state's program.

"Whenever we receive DNA from a family member, it's just being compared to the national database for unidentifieds and it's just a matter of time," Lisa Savage says, criminal intelligence analyst with the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

The state urges those with missing loved ones to consider submitting DNA samples. It can only help police piece together their investigations as technology advances.

"It's more accurate than fingerprints, so it has become a very valuable tool and right now, we're just at the tip of the iceberg with it," Lt. Douglas Bobovnyik says.

Lt. Bobovnyik says it's possible Rowe may have died from a drug overdose, but it's also possible investigators may never know.

The Mahoning County coroner's office lists her cause of death as undetermined. Releasing her identity has not yet turned up any new leads as to what could have happened.

 

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