Philadelphia

Turns Out Woman Believed to Be 1973 Pennsylvania Homicide Victim Is Actually Alive

Forensic Bust
The Reading Eagle | Susan L. Angstadt

Police say an eastern Pennsylvania woman they thought was dead after finding decomposing remains in 1973 is actually alive, leaving them confused about whose remains were found.

The Reading Eagle says state police recently had an expert craft a forensic bust of the victim, in hopes her appearance might spur leads into the killing.

Those leads led to a woman named Betsy Langjahr, but police determined she's still living.

Investigators are hoping to attach a name to the young woman whose partial skeletal remains were found 42 years ago under a tarp and branches in northern Lebanon County, about 90 miles northwest of Philadelphia. They have investigated the death for more than 40 years, but don't know for certain who she was or how she died. Forensic evidence suggests the victim was 16 to 20 years old, leading police to believe the victim may have been a runaway.

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The victim could be a teenager who ran away from a home for troubled teens in 1973, Trooper Nathan Trate said last week at a news conference. Finding out who she was might lead to information about how she died, he said.

Trate told the paper he looked into four runaways from Talbot Hall in Jonestown, a home for troubled teens, now an American Legion post, around the time the body was found. He ruled out three of the girls.

He was never able to rule out the fourth -- Langjahr -- until now.

Trate asked anyone with information to contact him at 717-865-3647 or by email.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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