May 25, 2021:
The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office has announced they’ve uncovered the identity of an unidentified woman found in a low water crossing off Highway MM, near Dixon, Missouri on May 25, 1981.
Known as the Pulaski County Jane Doe, she has been identified as Karen Kay Knippers. The Identification came after the sheriff’s office enlisted the help of the DNA Doe Project. The organization extracted a DNA sample from her remains and uploaded a sequenced DNA file to GEDmatch in November 2019 and to Family Tree DNA in December on that year. After “matches in the second cousin range” were produced, its team of genetic genealogists were “able to identify Karen [Kay] Knippers as a candidate for Pulaski County’s Jane Doe within a matter of hours”.
In January 2020, a man believed to be a possible relative was located by the sheriff’s office. He relayed to detectives that he’d lost contact with his sister in the early 1980s. A definitive match was made after both his and Jane Doe’s DNA were entered into databases in May 2021, proving the deceased was his sister, Karen.
Given the circumstances under which Karen’s body was found, her case is being investigated as a homicide. Those with information regarding her murder are asked to contact the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office at 573-774-6196.
Stories of the Unsolved will update this post as more details emerge.
Image Credit: Carl Koppelman/Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office