DADE COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — A Michigan woman who had been missing for more than 30 years was identified, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) announced Thursday.
GBI said the woman, who would be 52 years old, was identified as Stacey Lyn Chahorski of Norton Shores, Michigan. Chahorski’s body was found Dec. 16, 1988, miles from the Alabama state line on I-59 northbound lane.
Chahorski had been traveling the country and had last spoken to her mother Sept. 15, 1998. She told her mother she had planned to travel from North Carolina to Flint, Michigan.
Her mother reported her missing four months later.
Chahorksi was buried in a Dade County graveyard and will be reunited with her family.
The GBI and Dade County investigators worked for years to identify Chahorski. Some methods included creating clay renderings and drawing composites to recreate what she would look like.
In the mid-2000’s GBI submitted additional forensic evidence to the FBI lab in Washington where it created a DNA profile that was entered into the missing persons database. A few years later, GBI says a forensic artist recreated new clay renderings and composites to reflect age progression.
GBI said the FBI’s new type of genealogy investigation — which was successful in other cold cases and homicide investigations — helped them identify Chahorski using her fingerprints.
GBI says now, it’s focused on finding her killer and urges anyone with information to call 1-800-597-8477 or submit a tip online.
“The biggest problem in being able to solve this case was that we had no identity of the victim so we had no starting point,” said Joe Montgomery, GBI Special Agent. “Plus we already know where she’s from … so with that combined information, I think we have a good probability of solving this case and bringing the killer to justice.”
To watch the full news conference, click or tap here.