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UNSOLVED: Wisconsin cold case murder victim may have Arizona ties, authorities say

Posted at 11:29 AM, May 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-17 14:32:21-04

Authorities in Wisconsin are asking for the public’s help identifying a woman who was killed in 1984 and may have had ties to Arizona.

On May 4, 1984, a body was found outside of Westby, Wisconsin. Officials determined that the woman died of severe head trauma, the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office said.

Due to recently uncovered evidence as the result of pollen testing, it’s believed the victim was likely from Arizona or New Mexico.

The woman’s clothing was submitted to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Chicago for pollen testing and a profile revealed that she was likely from an urban area in the Semi-Arid Highlands or lowest elevation zone of the Temperate Sierra found in Arizona or New Mexico.

The woman was not murdered where her body was found, officials said. Her body was not hidden and both her hands were severed at the wrists and were never located. 

Additionally, authorities say a yellow two-door compact car was seen in the area where her body was found. 

The woman is described as being Caucasian, between 50 and 63 years old with brown-grayish hair, blue eyes, 5’5” tall and weighing 150 pounds, officials said. She had a four-inch abdominal surgical scar.

At the time of her death, she was wearing a plaid three-quarter length coat which was brown, tan and black with checkered patterned lining. She was also wearing a dress with a light blue turtleneck top underneath. The dress was black with large paisley blue and white print. She also had on nylons and brown shoes.

She had full dentures with the raised numbers “p85” or “p8s” inscribed in them, authorities said.

Anyone with information about the unidentified female found in Westby in 1984 should contact the Vernon County Sheriff's Office, Lieutenant Scott Bjerkos, at 608-637-2124.

This is one of many cold cases Arizona and national officials are diligently working to solve.

Earlier this year, a Valley woman arrested for an armed robbery that was linked to a 2013 murder case. 

Makayla Joy Lamb, 28, is accused of stabbing a person multiple times and leaving the body behind a business. DNA evidence discovered under the victim’s fingernails were a match for Lamb, officials said.