1978 homicide victim known as 'Granby Girl' identified using advanced genetic testing

1978 homicide victim known as 'Granby Girl' identified using advanced genetic testing

GRANBY, Mass. (TCD) — Investigators and advanced scientific testing have led to the positive identification of a woman nearly 45 years after she was found deceased in a rural part of the state.

According to a news release from the Massachusetts State Police, on Nov. 15, 1978, officials first found the victim’s remains “buried under leaves on a logging road” near Amherst Road.

Police said the victim was fatally shot in the temple, and her death was ruled a homicide. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined at the time she likely died around June 1978 when she was somewhere between 19 and 27 years old.

The woman’s case became cold until recent advances in DNA technology helped identify her as Patricia Ann Tucker. She was born July 28, 1950, which made her around 28 years old at the time of her death.

Approximately two years ago, officials with the Massachusetts State Police contacted a Houston-based private forensic laboratory called Othram to assist in the investigation.

Othram obtained Tucker’s DNA profile, and “through forensic genetic genealogy, identified a woman in Maryland who was likely related to her.”

Police made contact with the possible relative, and she was able to point them to Tucker’s son. Police said, “Comparison of his DNA to Tucker’s DNA resulted in a 100 percent parent/child match.”

Tucker’s son was reportedly 5 years old when she went missing.

At the time of her death, police said Tucker was married to a man named Gerald Coleman, and they lived together in East Hampton, Connecticut. Coleman didn’t report his wife missing, and according to police, he died in a Massachusetts state prison in 1996.

Even though police have not identified Tucker’s killer, they said Coleman is a person of interest.

Following her death, the victim’s remains were buried at a local cemetery with a headstone that read “Unknown” for decades.

Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan said, “Unsolved cases sometimes seem to go cold, but investigators never give up.”

First Assistant District Attorney Steven E. Gagne added, “While it’s satisfying to finally know who ‘Granby Girl’ actually was, the investigation won’t stop until we identify her killer and bring the family an additional measure of closure and justice.”


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