It was announced on Sunday morning that the missing "Jane Doe" found back in 1999 in Steuben County is that of a Tina L. Cabanaw.
It was on September 6, 1999, when a property owner discovered the decomposing body of a woman in the evening hours just after at 5:30 p.m. in a field northeast of Angola. She reportedly had a bra wrapped around her neck, indicating that she had been strangled.
The property owner, Dr. M.G. “Doc” Headley, made the discovery in a field at 2175 North 25 East, just off of County Road 200 North, and near State Road 127. This is the area presently known as Glendarin.
The late Joel Working was the Steuben County Sheriff during that time period. Working said the condition of the body "made it a stretch to determine if it was a female,". Initial reports said "it appeared that the remains had been there for at least five weeks prior to being discovered".
Barb Julien was the Steuben County Coroner who assisted Steuben County Sheriff Working and multi agencies who investigated the case, which was treated initially as a suspicious death and not officially as a homicide investigation.
Over the past decade, Steuben County Sheriff's Office officials have continued the investigation whereupon possible next of kin relatives were identified and investigators subsequently contacted these next of kin relatives to obtain further information about family relatives.
The investigator obtained a DNA samples from one of them believed to possibly be the sister of the unidentified body. The Indiana State Police Laboratory were unable to make an identification, but investigators were able to locate a potential daughter of the unidentified body and a DNA sample was collected from her.
The Indiana State Police Laboratory confirmed through kinship DNA testing that the newly acquired DNA identified the unidentified body as that of Tina L. Cabanaw, from the Detroit, Michigan area. Tina was reported missing to the Detroit Police Department in July of 1999 and was never located.
Steuben County Investigators and the Steuben County Coroner's Office have contacted the next of kin and notified them of the identification. With Cabanaw's identification made, the Steuben County Sherriff's Office is continuing its decade long investigation of the woman's death. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sherriff's Office Tip Line at 260-668-4646 or Crime Stoppers at 260-668-STOP.
An informal press conference about the case will be held on Monday, July 22nd.
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