Woman’s body found in Kentucky in 1969 finally identified

Sonja Kaye Blair-Adams (Courtesy: Kentucky State Police)
Sonja Kaye Blair-Adams (Courtesy: Kentucky State Police)

HARLAN, Ky. (WATE) – The identity of a woman whose remains were found in Harlan County, Kentucky, has finally been determined after 47 years.

DNA and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) helped Kentucky State Police identify the woman as Sonja Kaye Blair-Adams.

A man picking flowers on the side of Little Shepherd Trail found her body in June 1969.

NamUs is a database designed to help the public and law enforcement match missing persons with unidentified remains. The 1969 “Jane Doe” was entered into the system in 2009.

Karen Stipes, Blair-Adams’ daughter, searched NamUs and contacted Harlan County officials when she realized the remains found in 1969 might be those of her mother.

Blair-Adams was originally from Letcher County, Kentucky, and was 21 at the time her body was found. Police exhumed the body last year to test a DNA sample against one from Stipes.

The remains were sent to University of North Texas and earlier this month it was determined the DNA samples were a match.

The investigation into who killed Blair-Adams continues. Anyone with information is asked to call Kentucky State Police Post 10 at 606-573-3131.

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