MOHAVE COUNTY, Ariz. — DNA testing has recently identified the remains of a woman whose body was discovered in the Arizona desert over 50 years ago.
The Mohave County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday it had finally managed to identify a homicide victim who had gone nameless for decades after her body was discovered in January 1971.
The woman's body had been put into a canvas sack that was found about two miles east of U.S. Highway 93 in a desert area.
In 2021, the Sheriff's Office began seeking assistance to help identify the deceased woman. After obtaining enough funding, investigators conducted forensic genealogical testing and traced the woman's family tree.
The testing has identified the woman as Colleen Audrey Rice of Portsmouth, Ohio. MCSO said Rice, who would have been 39 at the time her body was found, had been estranged from her family and it's unknown how she ended up in Arizona.
MCSO is still investigating the suspect responsible for Rice's death.
Anyone with information about Rice is encouraged to call MCSO at 928-753-0753 ext. 4408.
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Arizona's Silent Witness program allows people to send in tips and share information about crimes happening within their local communities.
The program shares unsolved felony case information in multiple ways, including TV, radio and social media.
Anyone who has information on a crime or recognizes a suspect described by the program is asked to call 480-948-6377, go to the program's website online or download the Silent Witness app to provide a tip. The identity of anyone who submits a tip is kept anonymous.
Calls to Silent Witness are answered 24/7 by a live person and submitted tips are accepted at all times. Submitted tips are then sent to the detective(s) in charge of the specific case.
Individuals who submit tips that lead to an arrest or indictment in the case can get a reward of up to $1,000.