A TEENAGE GIRL missing in 1975 has finally been found after police linked her remains to those found in a ditch 21 years ago.
Patricia Agnes Gildawie, nicknamed “Choubi,” disappeared almost five decades ago and her family is still desperate for answers.
In August, the skeletal remains found in Mclean, Virginia, in 2001 were confirmed to be those of the missing 17-year-old, according to the WJLA.
They were found next to clothing in a drainage ditch in a wooded area 26 years after the teenager’s disappearance.
Investigators say Patricia died from a gunshot wound to the head, but the body has not been confirmed as her for another 21 years.
Advanced DNA and forensic genome sequencing company Ortham recently worked with authorities to gain momentum in the cold case.
A major breakthrough came when Patricia’s DNA was matched to her half-sister, 66-year-old Veronique Duperly.
Before she disappeared in February 1975, Patricia was covered with bruises on her arms and legs, Veronique recalled.
Veronique said she also had bruises on her shoulders and back the last time she spoke to her.
“I’m not sure if she bumped into things or if someone hit her,” Veronique told the Washington Post.
Veronique said Patricia left when she expressed her concern about the bruising.
Before leaving, she said to Veronique, “I’ll see you soon,” but she never saw her sister again.
In the months leading up to Patricia’s disappearance, she was rarely home, only dropping in for a few hours every week or two, Veronique said.
Patricia was dating an elderly man in his 30s before disappearing without a trace, according to her sister.
He reportedly worked at an upholstery shop in Vienna, Virginia.
Veronique recalled that Patricia sometimes drove to Veronique’s house in the man’s white Cadillac Eldorado with a red interior.
“He let her drive around in that car,” she said.
“I mean, that’s crazy. She was only 17 and didn’t have a driver’s license.”
“I WAS SO RELIEVED”
After Patricia disappeared, Veronique put up posters all over Fairfax County.
“God, I remember putting those things up,” Veronique told the Post.
“No one ever called.”
She said she lost hope of finding Patricia decades ago. She claims the police weren’t helpful in the search and that the family couldn’t afford a private investigator.
“Oh my god, I was just so relieved,” she said of her feelings after hearing about the recent discovery in her sister’s case.
“I can stop worrying, ‘Is she in jail? Is she in a prison? Is she hurt?’
“Now I know it. Yes, she was hurt.”
While Veronique is at peace knowing that the remains belong to her sister, she still wonders who killed her sister and how long she was in those woods.
When police first found the remains, an erroneous report from a medical examiner and anthropologist said the victim was likely an African American woman.
The report also reportedly said the body lay in the woods for a year or two, which police now believe is wrong.
Ed O’Carroll of the Fairfax County Police Department said: “Not only were they off the schedule, they were off the race track, which really derailed the detectives’ search.
“We now believe she was murdered shortly after she was known to be alive, which was in 1975.”
O’Carroll told WJLA, “The identification of this young woman solves a mystery that has taken more than 47 years to solve.
“Our community should take comfort in knowing that our detectives never stop working on these cases.”
Patricia and Veronique’s mother, Jacqueline Bradford, died six years before her daughter’s body was identified.
“She was so worried about her,” Veronique said.
“And she never knew what happened to her after all these years.”
Police have made no arrests in the case and are continuing the investigation with additional information provided by their relatives.
“Her circle of friends was young at the time, although we knew she was often with a slightly older man,” O’Carroll said.
“We’re looking for him. We really want to speak to him. We want to speak to one of their friends, acquaintances, maybe some of their enemies.
“Advancements in technology have given my cold case detectives the opportunity to pursue new leads and bring some relief to families who have long suffered with the unknown.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6307037/missing-teen-identified-after-decades-advanced-dna-technology/ The mystery surrounding a woman’s skeletal remains left in the ditch has been solved after vital evidence was uncovered, but the killer is still at large