Several years later, in 1984, serial killer Henry Lee Lucas reportedly admitted to killing the victim, but her identity remained unknown.
In May 2019, Miller said investigators exhumed the victim’s body from an Elgin cemetery and worked with the University of North Texas to obtain DNA from her body. However, investigators were still unable to identify the woman.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, officials learned they did not collect enough DNA to identify the remains, and investigators exhumed the victim’s body again in September 2022 with help from Texas State University. The Sheriff’s Office said more DNA samples were collected and sent to Othram Labs. A DNA profile was created on Jan. 12.
Through forensic genealogy, investigators were able to identify the victim as 22-year-old Kathy Smith. Sheriff Maurice Cook said in the press conference that Smith was adopted, which slowed down the investigation. The victim reportedly had one child, and both her biological and adoptive families have been notified.
Although Henry Lee Lucas, also known as the "Confession Killer," died in prison, Cook said he is still considered their primary suspect, but the case is not closed.