Colleen Orsborn, 1984, identified 2011 Feb 3, 2011 15:46:33 GMT -5
Post by CSA FD on Feb 3, 2011 15:46:33 GMT -5
Dr. G links body found in Orange in 1984 to missing Daytona Beach teen girl
Dr. Jan Garavaglia finds DNA link between missing teen Colleen Orsborn and body found in Orange County
February 2, 2011
For nearly three decades, the lower jaw of an unidentified young woman was stored at the Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner's Office. The case file sat in a closet.
But recently, Dr. Jan Garavaglia, the chief medical examiner, got some encouraging news.
The bit of bone and teeth she sent to an FBI laboratory for DNA testing in 2007 had received a hit. DNA linked the bones discovered in Orange County in 1984 to the family of a missing Daytona Beach teenager who vanished that same year.
Finally, the bones might have a name: Colleen Orsborn.
The mitochondrial DNA taken from the mandible matched DNA taken from the missing girl's sisters.
"It's not a confirmatory match yet," Garavaglia said Wednesday. "There's a really good chance that it's her."
Since the hit, police have sent off more evidence to the lab for further testing. Hair samples that the Daytona Beach Police Department had stored in the evidence locker will soon be tested.
"We are looking for more circumstantial evidence, or the holy grail of getting nuclear [DNA]," Garavaglia said.
Orsborn went missing from her home in Daytona Beach on March 15, 1984. The 15-year-old missed the bus and ditched school.
About three weeks later, a fisherman found the decomposing body of a young woman in a shallow grave in Orange County.
A medical examiner at the time determined the body found and the missing Daytona Beach girl were separate cases.
In 2001, Orsborn's family received what appeared to be a confession letter. They told the Orlando Sentinel that for a long time they thought she had run away. The letter was later determined to be a hoax.
Orsborn's disappearance has been linked to serial killer Christopher Wilder, who was killed during a police standoff in New Hampshire in 1984. He is thought to have killed eight women between February and April 1984.
Daytona Beach Sgt. Bill Rhodes, who oversees cold cases, said the DNA discovery is a step in the right direction.
"Now we are working toward making sure it is in fact 100 percent her," Rhodes said. "At this point, we are just trying to give her family some closure."