Sandra Young : 1970 Remains Identified; DNA Upload Solves Mystery

In a small town in Oregon, a mystery that had been haunting investigators for over five decades finally saw the light of day. A teenage girl’s remains were discovered by a boy scout troop leader in Sauvie Island, buried in a shallow grave. The girl’s body, in skeletal form, was found along with pieces of a black curly wig, indicating signs of foul play, as reported by Oregon State Police.

**Breakthrough in Identification**

After years of being unidentified, the young woman was recently identified as Sandra Young, a teenager from Portland who went missing between 1968 and 1969. This revelation came through advanced DNA technology, a tool that has been instrumental in solving cold cases in recent times. The breakthrough in the case came when a distant family member of Young uploaded their DNA to the genealogy database, GEDMatch, leading to the discovery of Young’s identity.

**The Search for Answers**

Young attended Grant High School in Portland and was last seen in the city between the ages of 16 and 18. Over the years, the state’s medical examiner’s office used various DNA techniques to try and identify Young. The tools indicated that Young had brown skin, brown eyes, black hair, and was likely of West African, South African, and Northern European descent.

**Calls for Justice**

Young’s family, including her nephew Lorikko Burkett Gibbs, are now calling for further investigation into the circumstances of Young’s death. In an interview with a local TV station, Gibbs expressed the need for the perpetrator to be held accountable for their actions. The Portland Police Bureau has been urged to conduct further investigations into the case.

**Disproportionate Impact on Communities of Color**

The case of Sandra Young sheds light on the larger issue of missing persons cases, particularly those affecting communities of color. In the U.S., a significant number of missing persons are Black youth and women, highlighting the need for more attention and resources to address these disparities. The Black and Missing Foundation reports that Black people make up a disproportionate number of missing persons cases, despite being a minority in the population.

As the investigation into Sandra Young’s death continues, her family and the community are hopeful that justice will be served, bringing closure to a decades-old mystery.

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