NEWTON, Ga.: Investigators in Baker County on Friday exhumed the body of a woman found in a ditch near Newton in 1985, hoping to pursue a tip that could reveal her identity.
Baker County Coroner Andy Belinc confirmed Friday that there were new efforts to identify a woman known only as "Jane Doe" who was buried in the Newton city cemetery.
"Yeah, we're hoping to finally be able to put a name with this lady and to be able to provide some level of closure to her family," Belinc said. "This has been a case that I've been interested in since I became coroner and maybe now we can put it to rest."
The woman was found in a ditch off of Georgia Highway 91 north of Newton on May 24, 1985. Investigators believe she either fell from a vehicle or was was thrown from one.
Over the years, leads have been followed to attempt to identify the woman, with no success.
Kim Baker, the special agent in charge with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Sylvester field office, said that while there isn't a pending criminal investigation, it's important to get "Jane Doe" identified.
"There was a death investigation because she was found on the side of the road, but it was ultimately ruled accidental, but she was never identified. Today (Friday), Jane Doe was exhumed to get DNA to try and bring this case to a close," she said.
Baker said that the DNA collected from the unidentified woman will be entered into a database of missing people and will be stored so that if additional leads pop up, officials will be able to identify her.
"Our biggest thing is to put it on file, so we can compare. We've gotten tips over the years, but now we can use science to see if we can get this matter resolved," Baker said. "She's someone's family member. If we can make some family happy to at least be able to identify their loved one, that's our goal."
The Baker County Sheriff's Office website has information on the case and anyone with information about the woman is asked contact a local law enforcement agency.