Anchorage, Alaska (AP) — A woman known for only 37 years as Horseshoe Harriet, one of the victims of Alaska’s notorious serial killer, was identified by genetic genealogy and DNA matching on Friday, officials said. Stated.
The victim was identified as Robin Perky on Friday, according to the Cold Case Investigation Unit of the Alaska Research Agency. He was 19 years old and lived on the streets of Anchorage when he was killed by Robert Hansen in the early 1980s.
“Thanks to all the soldiers, investigators and analysts who have worked diligently on this case for the past 37 years. Without their diligence and tenacity, Perky’s identity may not be known. “Alaska’s Secretary of Public Security, James Cockrel, said in a statement.
Hansen, who owned the bakery, is in the wilderness just north of Anchorage, and the state’s largest city is the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.
The 2013 movie The Frozen Ground, starring Nicolas Cage and John Cusack, records the investigation and capture of Hansen by soldiers.
Hansen was convicted of the deaths of four women, but confessed that he had killed a few more, soldiers said. At one point, he traveled with an investigator to the northern region of Anchorage, pointing out where 17 of the victims were buried.
In 1984, Alaska State soldiers returned to these areas, where the bodies of eight women were found. A total of 12 bodies were found, 11 of which were identified, said Austin McDaniel, a spokesman for Trooper.
According to McDaniel, the only unidentified person is known only as Ekultna Annie, who is believed to be Hansen’s first victim. Her body was found near Lake Ekultna, just north of Anchorage.
Randy McFerron, a cold case investigator in Troopers, Alaska, told The Associated Press.
“We were able to really cross our fingers and find out who Eklutna Annie was,” he added, adding that the time frame can take up to a year.
Among the skeletal remains found in 1984, soldiers said Persky was found lying on the ground near Lake Horseshoe near the Little Sitna River, a few miles northwest of Anchorage. ..
The body that became known as the Horseshoe Harriet did not have an ID. Hansen told investigators that she was a sex worker kidnapped from downtown Anchorage in the winter of 1983. He told investigators that he flew her to the lake on a small plane, killed her, and abandoned her body. He didn’t know her name or much else.
Autopsy confirmed that the body belonged to a white woman between the ages of 17 and 23. There were no reports of matching missing persons, and she was buried in Anchorage Municipal Cemetery as unknown.
The case resumed in 2014, when Hansen died in prison at the age of 75.
The bodies were excavated, samples were sent, DNA profiles were created, and added to the FBI’s national missing person database. It did not provide identification.
In September 2020, researchers made another attempt to identify the body using a genetic genealogy.
Bone samples were sent to a private laboratory where additional DNA was extracted and sent to whole-genome sequencing. This data was then sent to another lab, where a DNA profile was generated and uploaded to the public access genealogy database in April.
According to Troopers, some close matches were found and used to create a family tree of the victims. According to the investigation, the victim may be a woman named Robin Perky, born in Colorado in 1963, soldiers said.
The Troopers tracked her as living in Anchorage in the early 1980s, but there is no record of her being alive since 1984.
Eventually there were close relatives in Arkansas and Alaska. The family told soldiers that Perky lived in Anchorage in the late 1970s, but moved to Arkansaw as a teenager before returning to Alaska in 1981 to live with his father and stepmother.
The Troopers said she ended up living on the streets of Anchorage, but disappeared by the end of 1982 or the beginning of 1983.
Relatives told soldiers that they were not sure why Perky’s parents, who are now deceased, did not report her missing.
DNA matching with close relatives in Arkansas confirmed Perky’s identity and the family was notified in September. Through the trooper, the family said they did not want to be contacted by the media.
“Obviously, I’m very happy to finally understand who she is and give her family some closures,” McFerron said. “Genealogy has made such a huge leap not only in solving unresolved murders, but also in identifying people, so it’s very nice to see it finally put together this way. “
According to McDaniel, Trooper has purchased a new grave marker for Perky.
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