Pennsylvania police identify remains found a decade ago as 14-year-old who disappeared in 1969


A 14-year-old girl disappeared from a Pennsylvania park in 1969. More than half a century later, her remains have been identified, state police announced Tuesday.

“After 53 years, the family of Joan Marie Dymond very much deserves closure. We will do everything in our power to see that they have it,” said Capt. Patrick Dougherty, commanding officer of Pennsylvania State Police Troop P, in a press release.

State police are now asking the public to come forward with any information that may lead to her killer.

“We never stopped pursuing answers and this investigation remains very active,” Dougherty said.

Joan Marie disappeared from a park on Andover Street in the northeast city of Wilkes-Barre on June 25, 1969, according to police.

In 2012, human remains were discovered on the grounds of a former coal mine in nearby Newport Township by people digging “for relics,” the release said.

They were determined to be those of “a woman estimated to be in her mid-teens to early 20s who died under suspicious or ‘foul play’ circumstances,” the release said. “Laboratory results indicated a high probability that she died in the late 1960s.”

But investigators were unable to match those “Jane Doe” samples to a national database for comparison, police said — until March 2022.

A local foundation funded genetic genealogy that yielded possible relatives of “Jane Doe,” which included members of the Dymond family. The family provided DNA samples and the results of those tests confirmed that the human remains were those of Joan Marie.

State police said they worked with and received “extraordinary assistance” from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, several forensic anthropologists, Beta Analytic, Inc., and Othram, Inc.

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