In September 1991, the remains of an unidentified woman were discovered in a Sacramento, California parking garage located at the intersection of 3rd and L Streets. The woman was estimated to be 45 to 60 years old. She was approximately 5’11” tall, weighed 154 pounds, and had full, wavy hair described as being 10” in length and gray/brown in color. The woman wore upper dentures, and had lost many of her bottom teeth. At the time of her discovery, the woman was wearing an aqua color T-shirt, a blue and green plaid long-sleeve shirt, a dark green “Member's Only” windbreaker jacket, tan corduroy pants, dark brown socks, and size brown leather deck shoes.
Prior to her death, the unidentified woman was known to use the names “Amanda Defore” and “Carol Houston”. She reported that her date of birth was January 22, 1935. These names turned out to be aliases and did not aid in her identification. Details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP2382. Investigators followed the available leads but the case eventually went cold.
In 2022, the California Department of Justice, working with the Sacramento County Coroner and the Sacramento Police Department, submitted forensic evidence to Othram in The Woodlands, Texas. Othram scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the unidentified woman. The casework completed at Othram was funded by the Roads to Justice (RTJ) program and we are grateful for the support funding this case and previous cases. Othram's in-house forensic genetic genealogy team used the profile in a genetic genealogy search to develop investigative leads that were returned to law enforcement investigators.
A follow-up investigation led to potential genetic relatives of the unknown woman. These relatives assisted in the investigation by providing DNA samples for reference testing. Confirmation DNA testing then established the identity of the unknown woman as Dorothy A. Sandusky, born January 22, 1935. Sandusky was a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was 56 years old at the time of her death. Additional details about Sandusky's life and disappearance are not known at this time.