NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – DNA from a postage stamp has provided a major break in a New York cold case involving a woman who vanished from Westchester County and a dead body found in North Carolina.
Police in two states have been working the case for more than 20 years, reports CBS2’s Tony Aiello.
Since 1994, the question has dogged Greenburgh police: What happened to Marine Corps veteran Stacey Boothe-Wilson?
The woman left a relative’s home on Adams Place one night and never returned.
“We had several theories, one was that foul play could have been involved, one was that she was in a troubled relationship and left,” said Greenburgh Police Chief Chris McNerney.
A body found in 1995 in a remote section of Jacksonville, North Carolina, has been identified as the missing woman.
The key evidence was a trace amount of Boothe-Wilson’s DNA found on a postage stamp and submitted to a national database 17 years ago.
New technology finally allowed Jacksonville police to extract a suitable DNA sample from the unknown remains.
“With this new technology, it’s kind of a first for us,” said Police Sgt. Will Lugo. “This was a case, our only open missing cold case. For us it’s a really big deal.
In the Stuyvesant Heights section of Brooklyn, Booth-Wilson’s sister Xenia Freeman says she feels numb after receiving confirmation after almost 25 years of dread.
“I knew that she wasn’t with us anymore because my sister was not the kind of person that would just walk away, leave her three kids, and not be in touch with me for all these years,” said Freeman.
The DNA answers one question but many remain. It’s still not clear how Stacey Boothe-Wilson died – and if it was foul play, who has carried a guilty secret for almost 25 years?
Police in North Carolina and in Westchester are asking for anyone with information to step forward.