Pennsylvania authorities have identified remains found nearly a decade ago as those of a girl who went missing in 1969.
Pennsylvania State Police Capt. Patrick Dougherty announced Tuesday that authorities had successfully identified the remains as those of Joan Marie Dymond, who vanished from a park in 1969 when she was 14 years old.
“After 53 years, the family of Joan Marie Dymond very much deserves closure. We will do everything in our power to see that they have it,” Dougherty said. “We never stopped pursuing answers, and this investigation remains very active.” (RELATED: Suspect Named In Missing Toddler Case Gripping Multiple Countries After 15 Years)
The remains were originally found in Nov. 2012 at a former coal-mining operation in Newport Township, police said. Initial investigations determined the remains were those of a female who “died of suspicious or ‘foul play’ circumstances,” police said.
Joan was 14 years old when she was last seen by her family in Wilkes-Barre, PA in the summer of 1969. 53 years later – her family finally has answers.@PAStatePolice announced that she finally has her name back – Joan Marie Dymond: https://t.co/cauBMj2Sji pic.twitter.com/PHh57MgMJF
— National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (@MissingKids) October 4, 2022
Police submitted DNA to national databases but were initially unsuccessful. In March, authorities obtained a grant to send the DNA to private laboratory Othram, Inc., which compared genetic material from the remains to family members of various missing persons, including Dymond.
Police are still trying to determine Dymond’s exact cause of death and who is responsible for it.
Dymond’s sister, Suzanne Estock, said Dymond “was a sweet girl” who “didn’t deserve what happened to her,” according to WBRE/WYOU.
“The last time I spoke with her, I was pregnant, I was due in August,” Estock reportedly said. “She was excited about being an aunt and me having a baby and coming down to visit.”
Estock said she hopes authorities are able to apprehend a suspect, or suspects.
“It’s a shame somebody so young and with her whole life ahead of her was taken. I would have had a sister up until now,” she said.