After 22 Years, a California Garden Yielded a Body That Had Been Identified

Construction workers in Southern California discovered horrifying human remains in a garden on August 29, 2001. The woman’s body was not able to be identified after extensive inquiry and an anthropological dig at the scene, thus she was instead added to the extensive list of California John and Jane Does.

The body discovered in the backyard of a house on Wollacott Street in Redondo Beach’s Golden Hills area went unidentified for 18 years. Police have now revealed that the deceased was a mother named Catherine Parker-Johnson who had not spoken to her family since the early 1980s.

The DNA Doe Project, a non-profit that collaborates with law enforcement to identify missing people, received the victim’s DNA after the Redondo Beach Police Department’s cold case unit restarted the investigation in January 2019.

SFGATE confirms the news on its official Twitter account:

The daughter and sister of Parker-Johnson were discovered to be the dead’s living relatives in Tennessee when the genealogical profile of the deceased was matched with them in March. After gathering a sample of the relatives’ DNA, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation verified the match.

Nearly precisely 20 years before her death was found, in August 1981, family members last reportedly spoke with Parker-Johnson. Her family thought she was in Lennox, California, at the time. Never was she listed as missing. Few details about the dead are yet available, and investigators are seeking assistance from the public as part of an ongoing homicide investigation.

Investigators in Redondo Beach are looking for anyone with information regarding Parker-Johnson. You can reach them by phone at 310-379-2477 or by email at janedoe2001@redondo.org.

If you’re looking for crime news from across the state or the country, go no farther than The California Examiner.

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