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Pennsylvania police identify remains found 10 years ago as 14-year-old who went missing in 1969

By Rob Frehse, CNN

A 14-year-old girl went missing from a Pennsylvania park in 1969. More than half a century later, her remains have been identified, state police announced Tuesday.

“After 53 years, the family of Joan Marie Dymond very much deserves closure. We will do everything in our power to see that they have it,” Capt. Patrick Dougherty, commanding officer of Pennsylvania State Police Troop P, said in a news release.

State police are now asking the public to provide any information that might lead to her killer.

“We never stopped pursuing answers, and this investigation remains very active,” Dougherty said.

Joan Marie disappeared from a park on Andover Street in the northeastern city of Wilkes-Barre on June 25, 1969, according to police.

In 2012, human remains were discovered on the grounds of a former coal-mining operation in nearby Newport Township by people digging “for relics,” the release said.

They were determined to be those of “a female, estimate to be in her mid-teens to early 20’s, who died of suspicious or ‘foul play’ circumstances,” the release said. “Lab results indicated a high probability she died in the late 1960s.”

But investigators were unable to match those “Jane Doe” samples to a national database for comparison, police said — until March 2022.

A local foundation funded genetic genealogy testing that provided possible relatives of “Jane Doe,” which included members of the Dymond family. The family provided DNA samples and the results of those tests confirmed the human remains were those of Joan Marie.

State police said they worked with and received “extraordinary assistance” from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, multiple forensic anthropologists, Beta Analytic, Inc., and Othram, Inc..

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