DETROIT – Exactly 43 years to the day after a woman’s body was found on the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio, police verified her identity as a Michigan woman believed to have been murdered.
The woman was Patricia Eleanor Greenwood, who was born in 1948 and had lived in several Michigan cities, according to police in Sandusky, Ohio. Greenwood’s identity was determined through DNA testing of her remains.
Since discovering who she was, investigators have tracked down family members, learning that Greenwood was one of “12 children from the same family who were given up for adoption in Michigan,” according to a news release from the Porchlight Project.
“An interview with one of Greenwood’s surviving brothers revealed that he had not heard from his sister since the time that her body was found near Sandusky; and a surviving sister suggested that Patricia may have been a sex worker,” according to the release.
When police found Greenwood’s body on March 30, 1980, all they could say was that it was that of a young woman who was about 5-foot-5 and 120 pounds, wearing a size 12 “disco-style” dress.
“No hair, scars, jewelry, or identifying items were found on her body,” the release said.
For decades, investigators made no progress on the case, but agents with the U.S. Marshals Service revived the case “after finding an old teletype from 1980 in another missing person’s cold case file,” the release said.
The Porchlight Project, a group dedicated to funding DNA testing for cold cases in Ohio, offered to fund DNA testing in 2021, after which Detective Eric Costante of the Sandusky police sent a tissue sample to a forensics lab in Virginia.
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That’s when Porchlight Project board member Nic Edwards, host of the popular True Crime Garage podcast, said he wanted to see the woman’s body identified.
“I believe that somewhere there is family that has been deceived and led to believe that she did not want them in her life. That is not true. She has been here, waiting for 40 years to be given a name, so that her loved ones can be located and notified,” Edwards said at the time.
Still, police don’t consider the case closed. They want to solve it, and that means finding out how Greenwood died and whether she was murdered. Sandusky police are asking anyone who knew Patricia Greenwood to contact authorities.
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