More than 31 years after a woman’s bones were discovered in the Anaheim area, Orange County Sheriff’s Department officials were finally able to identify her.
The woman’s skeletal remains were found by a passerby in a grassy area about 50 feet from Santa Ana Canyon Road in unincorporated Anaheim on Aug. 30, 1987. A red handkerchief and a length of cord were discovered near the body, officials said.
An examination later determined the woman had been stabbed in the torso and her hands had been cut off. Authorities believed her body had been in the area for about three months.
Investigators made a first-ever clay model facial reconstruction of the victim and reviewed the case for years to come, before it went cold.
In May 2005, DNA was extracted from the victim and was uploaded into the California Missing Person’s Database and the National Unidentified Person’s DNA. The profile was compared to several people, but the victim was not identified.
In addition, authorities worked with other national organizations to create likenesses of the victim, which were released, to no avail.
Last November, the DNA Doe Project, which also partnered with the Sheriff’s Department, was able to tentatively identify the victim after DNA believed to be from a family member was submitted to the California Department of Justice and was matched with the victim.
On Tuesday, coroner’s officials confirmed the victim was 20-year-old Tracey Coreen Hobson, who was living in Anaheim at the time she disappeared.
Authorities also released a photo of Hobson on Thursday.
Hobson’s killer was never found, and sheriff’s officials are continuing to investigate the homicide.
Anyone with information about the case can call Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS or crimestoppers.org.