DNA Solves Cold Case From 1994 In Ottawa County
Science has solved a cold case from 1994 in Ottawa County that has learned the identity of Matilda.
Some men hunting in the woods near Coopersville in November of 1994 found skeletal remains from a body.
The body turned out to be a woman and an autopsy discovered she had been murdered.
At the time the body was discovered the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office nicknamed the victim Matilda because there were unable to identify the body.
Using DNA evidence that was collected in 1994 along with help from the federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, detectives were able to identify the woman as Shelly Rae Kephart who was also known as Shelly Rae Christian.
Kephart who was 29-years-old at the time of her death had been missing from Minnesota since 1993.
In 1994 DNA testing was not as common or advanced as it is today, but using a sample from a DNA profile that had been obtained in 2007, according to FOX 17, the Ottawa County Cold Case Team opened the investigation back up and new technology led detectives to Minnesota.
Using the 2007 DNA profile, detectives got samples from Kephart's family to be compared and determined it was a direct match.
Hopefully, the family of Shelly Rae Kephart finds some sense of closure for their loss, but they're still is a murder that needs to be solved.
Cold case detectives will continue to investigate the murder now they have identified the body.