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Cold case solved after authorities identify body found 31 years ago in California desert

Using DNA, authorities have identified a woman whose remains were found 31 years ago in Thermal, Calif., according to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.

The Riverside County Regional Cold Case Homicide Team, led by the District Attorney’s Investigative Office, identified the remains as Kathryn Coffey, a Baldwin Park resident born in 1954.

Cold Case investigators met with Coffey’s sister in June and obtained DNA, confirming on August 8 that the remains belonged to Coffey and notifying her family of the identification.

Human remains were found on Jan. 22, 1991, at the bottom of a hill near 62 Avenue and Madison Street, according to a press release from the district attorney’s office. Bones were found that appeared to have been there for “a long time”.

The case went cold after the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department was unable to find leads on the case, which was deemed a suspicious death, authorities said.

Coffey was last known in the Indio area between 1989 and 1990, according to her family. Coffey graduated from Scripps College in the mid-1970s.

Anyone with information regarding Coffey or who saw anything suspicious in Thermal in late January 1991 has been asked by the Riverside County Regional Cold Case Homicide Team to contact the team by calling (951) 955-2777.

Los Angeles Times

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