COLD CASE: New evidence found in woman's clothing in 1984 Vernon - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

COLD CASE: New evidence found in woman's clothing in 1984 Vernon Co. murder

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Clothing worn by the victim found near Westby in Vernon County on May 4, 1984. Clothing worn by the victim found near Westby in Vernon County on May 4, 1984.
Buttons from the clothing worn by the victim found near Westby in Vernon County on May 4, 1984. Buttons from the clothing worn by the victim found near Westby in Vernon County on May 4, 1984.
Identification numbers on dentures worn by the victim found near Westby in Vernon County on May 4, 1984. Identification numbers on dentures worn by the victim found near Westby in Vernon County on May 4, 1984.
Viroqua, WI (WXOW) - -

There's new information in a 34-year-old cold case homicide in Vernon County. 

On May 4, 1984, the body of a woman was found outside Westby. An autopsy showed that the woman died of severe head trauma. The woman, who is believed to be between 50-63 years old when she died, had her hands cut off. No attempt was made to hide the body. She was not killed at the location where the body was found. Despite a large amount of evidence, she was never identified. 

On Wednesday, the Vernon County Sheriff's Department said that the clothing the woman wore was tested for pollen. Based on that evidence, the pollen places the woman likely was from an urban area in either Arizona or New Mexico. 

The sheriff's department and Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) are asking for the public's help in Wisconsin, Arizona, and New Mexico for help in identifying the woman. 

Investigators point to the solving of a 2015 homicide of a baby found in a suitcase near Boston, Massachusetts. Pollen evidence found led to the discovery of the child's identity.   

Authorities released the following description of the victim:

The victim was wearing a plaid three-quarter length coat, brown and tan, black turquoise color with checkered pattern with a lining on the purple coat. The victim was also wearing a dress with a light blue turtle neck top; the dress has a black background with a large paisley pattern, which is blue and white. Victim was wearing nylons rolled just above the knees, a tan slip and brown shoes size 8 ½ B. 

The victim had full dentures with raised numbers inscribed in the dentures, ‘p85’ or ‘p8s’. The dentures also had the numbers inscribed of 289 or 682. The other number inscribed is either 420 or 4-20. A yellow two door compact vehicle was also seen in the vicinity where the victim’s body was located.

The victim is described as a white female, approximate age of 50-63 years old at death in 1984, with brown graying hair, blue eyes, height 5’5” and weighing approximately 150 pounds. The victim also had an approximately a 4 inch abdominal surgical scar. 

Anyone who may have information on the case should contact the Vernon County Sheriff's Office at 608-637-2124 or the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation at 715-839-3830.

Poster made by Vernon County.

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