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Identity & Community

Body Exhumed From Pauper's Grave Is Girl Missing Since 1967

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National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

 

 

DNA tests show that a body exhumed from a pauper's grave last fall is almost certainly that of a 13-year-old Pittsburgh girl last seen in 1967, state police said Thursday.

The badly decomposed body was found in a landfill in Salem Township, Westmoreland County in September 1967, not long after Teala Patricia Thompson was last seen.

Authorities weren't able to identify the body so it was buried in a grave for unclaimed remains. But last October, a cold-case investigator got permission to have the remains exhumed. Shortly after that was publicized, Thompson's family came forward and gave DNA samples.

DNA tests received this week show it's 47.5 billion times more likely the remains are related to the Thompsons than not.

Trooper Stephen Limani said police now have a homicide investigation.