BLYTHE, Calif. – Advances in DNA technology have reignited a cold case for a woman whose body was discovered in August of 1992 along Highway 95, seven miles north of Blythe in Riverside County and investigators there are asking the people of Santa Barbara County for help in finally identifying her.
The woman is the only remaining unidentified victim of serial killer Keith Hunter Jesperson, also known as the 'Happy Face Killer', state the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.
According to the Riverside County District Attorney's Office, improvements in forensic science have allowed investigators and genealogists to determine the woman's biological father to be Alfonso Sandana Gonzales.
Mr. Gonzales is now deceased, detail Riverside County District Attorney's Office, but he traveled to various locations beyond his home in Cameron County, Texas including Santa Barbara County, Washington state and Oregon.
While several half-siblings were identified, none of these living relatives are biological matches to the still unidentified woman and the only known information about the time of her conception is that Gonzales was living in Santa Barbara County explain Riverside County District Attorney's Office.
Riverside County District Attorney's Office relay that there is reason to believe the woman's maternal side has ties to the Louisiana and/or southeast Texas area.
Information provided by the Riverside County District Attorney's Office in press materials about the woman including two vertical dots tattooed on her right thumb and an artist's recreation of the shirt she was discovered wearing featured below.
The woman's body was discovered on Aug. 30, 1992 and after Jesperson's arrest for another case, he confessed to a news reporter in Portland and later to Riverside County Sheriff's deputies that the woman was among seven other women he had killed explain Riverside County District Attorney's Office.
According to the Riverside County District Attorney's Office, Jesperson pleaded guilty to a different murder in Indio on Jan. 8, 2010, and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.
On the anniversary of that conviction, investigators with the Riverside County Regional Cold Case Homicide Team and District Attorney's Office are seeking help in identifying the woman that Jesperson simply referred to as 'Claudia' explain the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.
“Our goal is to identify this victim and provide closure to her family, wherever they may be,” said Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin. “We are hopeful someone hearing any of these details may remember anything that could help us reunite this woman with the family who may have been looking for her for over three decades.”