In September 1993, the skeletal remains of an unidentified Black woman were discovered by cable installers in a vacant lot south of downtown Kansas City, Missouri. The reporting individuals informed investigators that they had observed what they believed to be a human skeleton in the weeds. Investigators observed the woman’s skeleton had been minimally disturbed. Investigators also recovered a possible partial wig and false nails at the scene. Investigators estimate that the woman was between 20 and 32 years old and that she stood approximately 5’2” in height. However, due to the decomposition that had taken place, investigators were unable to make a definitive determination about the woman’s weight, eye color, or hair color. Investigators estimated that the woman had died a year prior to the discovery of her remains, but were unable to determine the cause of her death.
In April 2009, the case was entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as #UP5013. Since the discovery of the remains, law enforcement investigators have diligently pursued various leads about the unknown woman’s identity. Despite the exhaustive efforts of law enforcement, the woman’s identity has remained a mystery. With few leads for investigators to pursue, the case went cold.
In 2023, the Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office partnered with Othram to determine if advanced forensic DNA testing could help establish an identity for the woman or a close relative. Anyone with information that could aid in this investigation is encouraged to contact the Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office by calling 816-881-6600 and referencing agency case 93-ME-749 or NamUs ID #UP5013.
A DNASolves crowdfund has been created to raise funds for the remaining casework costs. Anyone can contribute here.