A NEARLY 50-year mystery has been put to rest as a woman known as “Granby Girl” has finally been identified.
While her murder still remains unsolved, Patricia Ann Tucker’s tombstone will soon have a name on it after her identity was confirmed in a press conference on Monday.
The conference was held at the Granby Police Station in Massachusetts by First Assistant District Attorney Steven E. Gagne and Granby Police Chief Kevin O’Grady.
According to Gagne, Tucker was born on July 28, 1950, and lived on the shore of Lake Pocotopaug in East Hampton, Connecticut with her husband, Gerald Coleman.
Gagne added that Coleman is a person of interest in Tucker’s June 1978 murder after he never reported his wife missing.
Coleman died in a Massachusetts State prison in 1996.
Tucker’s death was violent, said Gagne – she had been shot in the temple and her body was seemingly dragged by a man’s belt, said police at the time.
Her decomposed, skeletonized remains were found under a stump by children playing in the woods on November 15, 1978, said police.
The woman was identified through genetic genealogy testing through her son, Matthew Dale, 50, who was also at the conference.
“First I would like to say thank you to everyone in trying to identify my mother and wrapping your arms around her, especially the community of Granby,” Dale said in a statement.
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“Thank you for never giving up on her. At least I have some answers now after 44 years. It’s a lot to process, but hopefully, the closure can begin now.”
Gagne said the investigation into Tucker’s killer won’t stop until whoever did it is identified “and bring the family an additional measure of closure and justice.
“This investigation has spanned decades, and will continue until each and every possible lead is explored,” he said.
Tucker’s body was exhumed by state police, who visited Dale after they found him through his uncle in a DNA database.
Dale gave a file of his digital DNA profile to investigators and was contacted within hours with the news that his DNA was a clear match to Tucker’s.
Tucker, who had been laid to rest with a grave that read “Unknown,” will have her body moved to a proper grave by her son.
She was previously buried at West Street Cemetery marked with a wooden cross at first.
In 1998, Granby residents raised money to give her a more dignified grave marker.
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