Woman's body exhumed after decades - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Woman's body exhumed after decades

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TUSCALOOSA - AL -

A back hoe began unearthing a 32 year old grave a Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Taylorville of Tuscaloosa County Monday morning.

They exhumed the remains of woman who was killed in 1979 in McCall .  She had been stabbed to death, found on Crisstown Road.  But, the body was so badly decomposed that investigators at the time could not make an I. D.

Most of her remains now are just bone fragments. But, investigators hope modern day technology can help identify the victim.

"DNA has come light years in the years since this murder occurred. There are databases out there now for not only criminals but missing people," explained Captain Loyd Baker with Tuscaloosa Metro Homicide.

 Few people in the area remembers the case.  But, Donnie Hinton -- who has been a member of the Church where the woman's weed covered grave is helped investigators find it.  He says a now deceased deacon showed it to him when he was younger.

"He had put a sign on the tree there -unknown. At that particular time, I didn't know exactly where the grave was. But, people from the University of Alabama figured it out," said Hinton.

Agents with the National Center of Missing and Exploited children also helped exhume the body.

"Typically they respond to missing children and we don't know the age of this individual so.. They came along side to help us out," said Capt. Baker.

Ultimately detectives want to determine who killed the woman.  They believe her death was related to a serial killing. "Around the same general time she was found back in 1979, there was another female. There was another female found murdered in the same area about the same way...Her murder was caught and convicted."

But, the woman's I.D. is critical.

Hinton just wants the victims body finally laid to rest.  "I'm just proud they decided to dig her up, try to identify her and return her back to her family."

The body was taken to the Alabama Department of Forensics in Montgomery Monday for DNA testing.  But, it could be weeks before results are complete.