Body Identified in 33 Year Old Cold Case

TRENTON, Ga — On December 16, 1988, a woman’s body was found on the side of the road in Dade County.

“It was off I-59 northbound, just inside of Dade County, about 5.3 miles just inside the Georgia line,” said Joe Montgomery of the GBI.

After 34 years, that body has been identified as Stacy Lynn Chahorski of Norton Shores Michigan.

Chahorski was identified with a cutting edge technique called Forensic Grade Genome Sequencing.

“We realize that, as science changes, we knew of a new process with genealogy DNA, so we asked the FBI to help us with that. They created a new profile that identified her as Ms. Chahorski,” said Montgomery.

Unlike older forensic methods, Forensic Grade Genome Testing does not require a direct match from a DNA sample to yield a result.

Othram Incorporated was brought onto the investigation to conduct the testing.

“We look at hundreds and hundreds of thousands of markers, so you don’t have to be a direct match in any database. We can infer relationships, looking at these genealogical trees and how far away you are from each of relationships that pop up, and that allows us to identify almost anyone,” said Dr. Kristen Mittelmen, Chief Business Development Officer at Othram.

In the case of Stacy Chahorski, Othram relied on trace amounts of DNA from skeletal remains to find a match.

Now the GBI, FBI, and Dade County Sheriff’s Department begin the search for Chahorski’s killer.

“The biggest problem in being able to solve this case is we had no identity of the victim, so we had no starting point. Now we have a starting point,” said Montgomery.

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