Remains found on side of NC interstate over 30 years ago identified as Georgia woman

A lady whose stays had been discovered over 30 years in the past have been positively recognized this week.

Orange County Sheriff, N.C. officers introduced that the stays of a girl discovered by street crews 33 years in the past belonged to 20-year-old Lisa Coburn Kesler of Jackson County, Georgia.

Investigators imagine somebody strangled Kesler one week earlier than her physique was dumped alongside the facet of Interstate 40 east.

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Though authorities first used the rising science of DNA to acquire a conviction in a separate legal case in 1986, forensic functions of DNA was nonetheless new expertise when Kesler was discovered useless in 1990.

Officers stated though investigators had been in a position to show or establish somebody’s involvement in against the law with DNA, it couldn’t be used to establish an unknown individual.

“All through the many years, a few of our most interesting investigators stored plugging away,” Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood stated. “When you possibly can’t shut a case, it will get below your pores and skin. You would possibly set the file apart for some time, however you retain coming again to it, trying to see one thing you didn’t discover earlier than, or hoping data gathered in ensuing circumstances has relevance to your chilly case. Investigators additionally monitor new strategies and applied sciences within the area, which is what ultimately led to the breakthrough in Ms. Kesler’s case.”

Investigator Dylan Hendricks, who took over the case in June 2020, despatched a degraded hair fragment to Astrea Forensics for DNA extraction. After they returned a DNA profile, Hendricks requested forensic genealogist Leslie Kaufman to help with the case.


After they identifyied Kesler, investigators started interviewing individuals who they believed might be associated to her.

“Basically, there was a Lisa-shaped gap on a department of the household tree proper the place the DNA informed us Lisa must be, and nobody knew the place she was,” Hendricks stated.

Ultimately, investigators requested DNA from a suspected maternal relative and the outcomes got here again as a match.

“I’m very completely satisfied we solved the three-plus-decades-old thriller of this younger girl’s identification, and I hope it offers solace to her members of the family,” Blackwood stated. “We’re grateful to the various investigators, passionate volunteers, and gifted professionals who assisted with this effort. I imagine we collectively demonstrated the worth of dogged dedication, which we are going to now apply to the duty of figuring out her killer. There isn’t any statute of limitations on homicide, and no time clock on justice.”

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No additional data relating to potential leads in Kesler’s case has been launched.

Anybody who has data relating to this case is requested to name Hendricks at 919-245-2951.


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