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  1. #21

    Default Re: Swan on Doe

    Some details added to her page on doenetwork

    Unidentified Female

    Date of Discovery: November 15, 1978
    Location of Discovery: Granby, Hampshire County, Massachusetts
    Estimated Date of Death: 3-12 months prior
    State of Remains: Unknown
    Cause of Death: Homicide by gunshot
    Physical Description

    ** Listed information is approximateEstimated Age: 19-26 years old
    Race: Unknown
    Gender: Female
    Height: Unknown
    Weight: Unknown
    Hair Color: Light blonde or light brown, long.
    Eye Color: Unknown
    Distinguishing Marks/Features: Chunky build.
    Dentals: Unknown. Her front teeth had noticeable decay.
    Fingerprints: Unknown.
    DNA: Unknown.
    Clothing & Personal Items

    Clothing: A short sleeved shirt with a green collar and green swan on the front (size 14-16). There were no labels or other identifying markers on it.
    Jewelry: Unknown
    Additional Personal Items: Unknown
    Case History

    The victim was found on Amherst Street, about an 1/8 mile off Amherst Road and about 1/2 mile south of Route 116 in Granby. She had been shot in the temple and buried in a shallow grave under a log. A brown leather belt was found around her neck, and reportedly used to drag her body to the burial site.
    Inquiries were made at local colleges, as Route 116 is and was often used by college students hitchhiking or traveling between Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley and Amherst-area colleges, but no women were reported missing.
    She was laid to rest in West Ceremony, the simple white wooden cross reading "Unknown Girl" replaced with a headstone purchased by the citizens of Granby.
    Investigating Agency(s)

    If you have any information about this case please contact;Agency Name: Granby Police Department
    Agency Contact Person: Chief Alan Wishart
    Agency Phone Number: 413-467-9222
    Agency Name: Northwest District Attorney's Office
    Agency Contact Person: N/A
    Agency Phone Number: 413-586-5150

    Agency Case Number: case nbr here
    NCIC Case Number: N/A
    NamUs Case Number: Not listed
    Former Hot Case Number: 1624
    Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.
    Information Source(s)

    Granby Police Department
    The Republican News Archive News Archive

  2. #22

    Default Re: Swan on Doe

    Granby Girl: After 37 years, is identifying the woman the longest of long shots?

    Under the best of circumstances, the tools used by law enforcement to establish an identity of a unidentified corpse are not foolproof.

    Fingerprints and dental records only work if there is an existing record with which to compare it.

    Even DNA, from which a genetic fingerprint can identify a person as well as any distant relatives, only works if there is an existing record in the national DNA database.

    It has not been disclosed if police have a DNA sample of "Granby Girl" on file. What is known is that the body of the unidentified woman found in Granby in 1978 had been buried for between three months and a year. The body was described as heavily decomposed when found, which means fingerprints are likely out. Contemporary accounts describe the body as being little more than a skeleton, strands of hair and some clothing.

    While it may be possible to harvest a DNA sample from hair, clothing and skeletal remains, the year Granby Girl was found – 1978 – preceded the discovery of DNA as a genetic fingerprint by six years. It was eight years before DNA was first used in a police investigation.

    It is not known if investigators with the Northwestern District Attorney's Office obtained a DNA sample retroactively.

    If investigators ever went through the process of trying to reconstruct the face using the skull, it was never announced. Certainly no composite sketch was ever released to the press and public.

    The Northwestern District Attorney's Office would say little about the case other than to say it remains an active and open investigation.

    Minus any matches to dental, DNA or forensic records, the most likely way the Granby Girl will ever be identified is if someone comes forward who can remember her when she was alive or who wishes to report her missing.

    This is what Kelly Dillon, the Springfield woman who has taken it upon herself to identify Granby Girl, is hoping will happen.

    She said she hopes publicity about the case will inspire just one person to come forward with information that will lead to uncovering Granby Girl's identity.

    After so long, it may be the longest of long shots, but sometimes long shots do hit the target.

    That is exactly how one of the region's longest running unidentified cases – involving two murder victims, an older woman found in Tolland State Forest and a teenage girl found days later in New Britain, Connecticut – was finally solved last year.

    Both had been shot and dumped. Police knew the cases were connected but without identification had little to go on.

    The big break finally came when a relative contacted police in New York to inquire about a family that disappeared without a trace two decades earlier.

    With that information, police in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts were able to identify Marcia Honsch, 53, and her daughter, Elizabeth Honsch, 16. From there they were able to track down their suspected killer, Robert Honsch, the husband and father of the victims, who had been living under an assumed named and with a new family in Ohio.

    He is awaiting trial in Massachusetts and Connecticut on homicide charges.

  3. #23

    Default Re: SWAN JANE DOE

    Granby Girl': A look back at the 1978 murder case

    On Nov. 15, 1978, some loggers walking through the woods off Amherst Road in Granby made a discovery: the decomposing body of a young woman stuffed under a log.

    The body, or what was left of it, was found to be that of a young woman, probably 19 to 27 years old, approximately 5 feet, 4 inches tall and with dirty blond hair. The medical examiner determined the time of death was anywhere from three months to a year before.

    She had been shot in the temple.

    Thirty-seven years later, not much more is known about the young woman, known today only as "Granby Girl." The case remains open, whoever shot her was never apprehended and her identity remains a complete mystery.

    The Northwestern District Attorney at the time, John M. Callahan, told the press that the body was found with a man's belt around her neck. He speculated that the belt could have been used to drag the body through the woods from the road.

    The Granby police chief at the time, John R. Kirchhof, was quoted in the paper saying the body was heavily decomposed and "about the only thing left was a skeleton." He also said the body had no pocketbook or wallet, and there was nothing that would provide clues to the woman's identity.

    Police had also received no recent reports of missing people who would appear to match the body.

    The body was described as wearing blue jeans, a blouse and shoes "of the type a young woman might wear." It was all size 14 to 16, leading officials to describe her as having "a chunky build."

    None of the clothing had any distinctive tags that could lead back to a point of purchase. The most distinctive article of clothing was a size 14 short-sleeved pullover blouse with a green swan sewn onto the front and a green imitation-suede collar.

    The front teeth were described as having "a noticeable decay," and one of the hands was wearing a gold ring, which was possibly a wedding ring.

    The initial articles in Springfield newspapers talk of police planning to compare dental X-rays from the body with "X-rays of known missing persons who fit the general description" of the woman.

    The spot where the body was found is near Route 116, which, then as now, was a major route between Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, the University of Massachusetts and Hampshire and Amherst colleges in Amherst and Smith College in Northampton.

    Police initially thought she could have been a student at one of the Five Colleges and made inquiries. Press accounts at the time reported that each of the colleges reported no missing female students.

    The spot is also near the Mount Holyoke Range and its many hiking trails. There was speculation at the time that perhaps she was hiking or even hitchhiking through the region.

    The Daily Hampshire Gazette reported sometime after the body was found that police received a tip from a local motel operator who said the description of the body appeared to match that of a woman who checked in in early 1978.

    That lead turned into a dead end when police were able to track that woman down and found she was very much alive.

    The Granby Girl is buried in the West Cemetery in Granby. For years, the grave was marked with a simple white cross that read "Unknown Girl."

    Nearly 20 years after she was found, the wood cross was replaced with a permanent stone marker after people in town donated the roughly $500 cost. It reads simply: "Unknown. Nov. 15, 1978. In God's care."

    In September 1998, nearly 20 years after the body was found, two dozen people attended a memorial service at the cemetery while the gravestone was put in place.

    According to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Rev Merrilyn Holcomb, pastor of the Granby United Church, said of the marker, "It is beautiful and sturdy, an everlasting symbol of this community's care for an unnamed woman whose hopes and dreams, troubles and anxieties, are not known to us."

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