GREENFIELD, Ind. (AP) — Human remains found in 1994 beneath a central Indiana bridge have been identified through DNA testing as those of an Ohio woman last seen by relatives earlier that year, officials said.
The long-unidentified remains are those of Doreen M. Tiedman of Cleveland, Ohio, the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department announced Wednesday.
Her remains were found in October 1994 in a wooded area under a bridge in Hancock County, just east of Indianapolis. Initial investigators believed the remains had likely been there for several months, the (Greenfield) Daily Reporter reported.
Tiedman, whose last contact with family was in January 1994, was known to hitchhike throughout the U.S. She would have been 34 years old at the time of her death, officials said.
Tiedman was officially listed as missing in May 1996 by the Cleveland Police Department and entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons system in 2013.
Detective Ted Munden with the sheriff’s department worked with the Indiana State Police Laboratory, which used genetic genealogy to develop investigative leads.
As part of the forensic detective work that led to the remains’ identification, scientists at Othram Inc., a private forensic laboratory, built a comprehensive DNA profile for the woman. Additional testing with Tiedman’s relatives determined that the unknown woman was Tiedman, officials said.
“It was bittersweet because it was nice for the family to finally have closure, but for a long time they suspected she was deceased and that’s sad,” Munden said.