Cold Case: Lake County Victim from 1979 Homicide Identified

Information from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page

black and white photo of a young woman in a black graphic with lake county sheriff's badgeOn September 18, 1979, a couple was hunting in the area of Hwy 175 between the Lake and Mendocino county lines when they stumbled upon skeletal remains.

Deputy Powers, who is currently still employed and working on a part-time basis for the Sheriff’s Office, responded to the area and began a homicide investigation.

Unfortunately, the case went cold, and the skeletal remains could not be identified.
Throughout the years, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) followed up with the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) to use emerging technology to identify this Jane Doe.

In March 2023, a representative from the CA DOJ suggested that Sgt. Frace, the coroner sergeant, contact a private DNA lab, Othram, to find out if their state-of-the-art procedures could help identify Jane Doe.
In January 2024, a potential match for a living relative of the decedent was identified. Sgt. Frace was able to contact this individual and gather information; however, he was still unable to make a positive identification.

In March 2024, a second match was found, and Sgt. Frace was also able to contact this living relative. During this interview, the relative told Sgt. Frace that their grandmother had two sisters, one of whom disappeared in the 1970’s. Using information from the first interview and the new details from the second, Sgt. Frace was able to find additional information about other possible living relatives.

After multiple interviews and additional DNA testing, in April 2024, it was determined that Jane Doe was Wanda Lee Brewer from Carson, CA.

This investigation is still ongoing. With the new information about the victim’s identity, detectives are hoping to find new leads. This is an old, cold case; however, anyone with information is asked to come forward. Please reach out to Sgt. Mora at [email protected]

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farfromputin
Member
farfromputin
27 days ago

Wowser, who needs Sherlock Holmes when we have RHBB!

Unimpressed
Guest
Unimpressed
26 days ago
Reply to  farfromputin

It’s to bad so many cases sit untouched the forinsic field is growing so fast it outpaced law enforcements ability to keep up. We have a couple of people in the sheriff’s dept I think that show some promise the use of DNA to get a conviction on the killer of Jason Garrett was impressive

Humboldt County Line
Guest
Humboldt County Line
26 days ago
Reply to  Unimpressed

We need a true nationwide database. There are so many independent systems that don’t always share with each other.

Bill
Guest
Bill
26 days ago

The long arm of the law got longer with DNA testing. Murderous perverts be nervous!

Farce
Guest
Farce
26 days ago
Reply to  Bill

And when found and judged guilty they should be executed. Oh wait- Greasy Gavin said that would be mean…

The world has went crazy
Guest
The world has went crazy
26 days ago
Reply to  Farce

And not only did he do that he shut death row down. So now all death row inmates get to choose their prison they want to go to.
He “claims” it’s so they can pay restitution to victims or families.

Antichrist
Guest
Antichrist
26 days ago
Reply to  Bill

Yes because women are mentally stable never do drugs or kill themselves and always deserve to have their children regardless of how they treat the or themselves and are always the victim correct ?

Craig
Guest
Craig
26 days ago

Hitchhiking was a common practice in the 70’s, along with some notorious serial killers.

Keahi
Guest
Keahi
26 days ago

Prayers for her friends and loved ones who have lived for decades with pain and agonizing uncertainty. May they find healing, peace and closure at last. RIP.

The Real Guest
Guest
The Real Guest
26 days ago

Here is the rest of the picture…

Screenshot_20240519-222947