Cops Reveal Theory on 1973 Murder. 4 Days Later, a Twist

Betsy Langjahr, who went missing around that time, has been found alive and well
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2015 7:35 AM CDT
Cops Reveal Theory on 1973 Murder. 4 Days Later, a Twist
State Police Criminal Investigator Nathan Trate says Jane Doe remains unidentified.   (Jeremy Long / AP)

More than 40 years into the investigation, Pennsylvania state police announced Friday that a Jane Doe found covered by a tarp and branches on Oct. 9, 1973, may have been Betsy Langjahr, who went missing from a nearby home for troubled teens around that time. The newly public theory didn't last long. Thanks to a media blitz that led to several tips, on Tuesday police confirmed that Langjahr is alive and well, reports the Reading Eagle, though they gave no specifics as to her whereabouts. The girl's decomposing body was found near Jonestown, about 90 miles northwest of Philadelphia, reports the AP. She'd been dead for one to three weeks and was completely naked, without any identifying markers or jewelry.

State Trooper Nathan Trate says he investigated four runaways from Talbot Hall, a former home for troubled teens, and was able to rule out three of the girls. Now that tips have helped him exclude the fourth—Langjahr—as a possibility, he's asking the public to call, even anonymously, with any information. State police have even worked up a 3D bust to show what the young woman, thought to be 16 to 20 at the time of her death, might have looked like, reports PennLive; it adds details that a forensic sketch couldn't capture, such as bone density and skin depth. Though it's now been more than 42 years since her death, police say the investigation has been ongoing and the case has never gone cold. (Is this the most baffling cold case in recent memory?)

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