Twenty seven years after she was labeled “Jane Doe” by officials in Colorado, Rebecca Ann Redecker has been given back her name, thanks to advances in DNA technology, officials said.
The 20-year-old woman's body was discovered in June 1993 near a Colorado campground in the Pike National Forest. Redecker's cause of death is still undetermined, but authorities indicated they believed others were involved in or responsible for her death.
"I cannot stress enough that if you knew anyone, or you knew Becky, or you had anything connected in Becky’s life, please call our office, and help us identify the suspect, or suspects that were responsible for her death, and leaving her body, in the National Forest, without a name for all these years," Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said during a news conference.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office made the announcement Thursday afternoon and said in a statement that “Over the years the case had been looked at several times to see if any new investigative tools may assist in identifying the remains.”
Eight years ago, investigators exhumed the woman's body in effort to get a DNA sample, which was then taken and entered to a national database, but failed to produce a match.
In January, the sheriff's office teamed up with United Data Connect, a Denver-based forensic science company, to sequence the DNA sample obtained in 2012 and conduct genetic genealogy analysis. As officials and experts built family trees through research and evidence, they slowly were able to find matches.
Last month, a detective received new information that led to the identification of the remains.
Authorities say they are in touch with the late woman’s mother and brother. Her father passed earlier this year, cops say.
The sheriff said his detectives want to talk to anyone who knew Redecker, who they said was homeless, or who she may have been spending time with in the summer of 1993.
Anyone with more information is asked to contact deputies. Metro Denver Crime Stoppers is also offering up to a $10,000 reward for information leading to arrest of the those involved.