FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (TCD) -- Human remains found almost 30 years ago at the base of a tree have been positively identified as a 34-year-old woman last seen in 1987.
According to the Fairfax County Police Department, on Dec. 6, 1993, landscapers found human remains in Centreville, Virginia, at the base of a tree. Detectives went to the scene and also uncovered a yellow barrette, a red comb, jewelry, and other clothing. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reportedly determined the victim died from stab and knife wounds to the upper body. The victim was believed to be between 28 to 39 years old.
Othram said in a statement the victim had "fairly thick" dark blonde or light brown hair and that she had "relatively poor" dental work because "many of her teeth were in an advanced state of decay."
She also reportedly had herniated discs in her back.
According to Othram, the woman’s body was entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System in 2011.
Sharon Kay Abbott Lane was last seen in 1987, and the police department said she was supposedly living in Fairfax County at the time. A few years after her disappearance, her father reportedly received a phone call from a mysterious woman who said Lane was dead.
Fairfax County Police detectives sent some skeletal remains to Othram, who used DNA sequencing to build a profile of the victim. The victim was identified as Lane, and detectives eventually tracked down her brother and her children, then obtained a DNA sample. Othram confirmed the DNA sample from the remains and Lane’s family were a match.
Maj. Ed O’Carroll said, "The tragic death of Sharon Kay Abbott Lane is now closer to being solved with the help of advanced DNA testing. Our detectives will use this new information to continue to seek justice for the victim in this case. We encourage anyone who may have known Sharon or her associates to contact our detectives."