Remains Identified As Those Of Girl, 14, Missing Since 1969

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — Remains found a decade ago have been identified as those of a teenager girl who went missing in northeastern Pennsylvania more than a half-century ago, state police said.

State police in Wilkes-Barre said Tuesday that the remains were identified as those of 14-year-old Joan Marie Dymond of Wilkes-Barre, who vanished from the Andover Street Park in June 1969.

“We never stopped pursuing answers, and this investigation remains very active,” Capt. Patrick Dougherty, commanding officer of PSP Troop P, said in a statement. “After 53 years, the family of Joan Marie Dymond very much deserves closure. We will do everything in our power to see that they have it.”

Police said the remains were found in November 2012 by people digging for relics in a trash-filled depression on a former coal-mining operation in Newport Township. Investigators said they suspected foul play in the death of the young female victim, who likely died in the late 1960s.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children released a likeness of the girl based on facial reconstruction images. Investigators sent the victim's DNA profile to national databases but got no matches. With the rise of investigative genetic genealogy — using direct-to-consumer DNA databases to identify victims and perpetrators of violent crimes — the Luzerne Foundation launched a “Closing Cases” fund, citing the Aden Mountain “Jane Doe.”

From an analysis funded by the foundation, troopers sought DNA samples from possible relatives, which included the family of Dymond, and tests recently confirmed that the remains were hers. State police are asking for the public’s help to find the individual responsible for her death.