In July 1972, the remains of an unidentified individual were discovered in the area of High Corner Road and Cortez Boulevard (State Road 50) in Brooksville, Florida. Brooksville is located in Hernando County which is situated on Florida’s west central coast. It was determined that the remains were that of a white female who was between the ages of 30 and 40 years at the time of her death. The woman had poor dental health with only six upper teeth and six lower teeth. She was approximately 5’ tall and weighed between 125 and 145 pounds. The woman’s remains were wrapped in a bedspread that had a distinctive pattern described as possibly being a “pineapple damask” print. The bedspread had three square corners and one rounded corner. The woman's manner of death was determined to be homicide.
At the time of her discovery, detectives believed the woman had recently traveled to Hernando County from either north Florida or Alabama. A facial reconstruction was developed and released to the public in hopes that it would generate new leads. Details of the case were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) as UP6043. The woman became known popularly as “Edna” and over the years, Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case detectives continued to investigate the case in hopes that she could be identified.
In 2022, Hernando County Sheriff’s Office submitted forensic evidence to Othram in The Woodlands, Texas in hopes that advanced DNA testing and forensic genetic genealogy could generate new investigative leads in the case. Othram scientists successfully developed a DNA extract from the skeletal remains and used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to develop a comprehensive DNA profile. Othram’s in-house forensic genetic genealogy team then used the DNA profile to generate new leads in the case.
In August 2022, Othram provided a possible identity of the Jane Doe to Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Detective George Loydgren who was able to collect a reference sample from a potential family member of the woman. The DNA profile of the potential family member was compared to Jane Doe’s DNA profile, leading to the positive identification of the woman as Peggy Joyce Shelton of Kentucky. Shelton was born March 30, 1943.
The murder of Peggy Shelton is being investigated by Detective Loydgren in an effort to identify the person or persons responsible for her murder. If you have any information on this case, please contact Detective George Loydgren at 352-754-6830. If you have information and would like to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, please contact Hernando County Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-866-990-TIPS (8477) or online at http://www.hernandocountycrimestoppers.com. You will remain anonymous and also be eligible for a reward up to $5,000 cash.