Saturday, October 24, 2015
Murder of Marilee Bruszer
Marilee Lee Bruszer, previously known as Juab County Jane Doe, was a formerly unidentified American murder victim who was found on September 3, 1978. Bruszer's body was not identified for thirty seven years (till August 2015) due to an inaccurate physical description generated by the original investigators and the great distance she was found from where she had resided prior to her disappearance. Circumstances: Bruszer went missing on August 22, 1978 from Long Beach, California. Little details were available about her case, although authorities did believed she had been murdered and classified her as "endangered missing." Further into the investigation, her dental records and DNA information were obtained to compare against unidentified bodies in the country. On September 3, 1978, the naked remains of a woman were found near the Yuba Lake campground in Juab County, Utah by three women that were fishing near the Yuba Dam. She was white and believed to have been between five feet two to three inches tall at a weight around 110 pounds, which was reported to be inconsistent with Bruszer's height and weight at five feet five and 145 to 150 pounds, respectively. The victim was said to have light blond hair that was eleven inches long, although some sources state that it was brown, strawberry blond or sandy blond. Her natural hair color was likely light brown, as some pubic hair was found. With the body, a double-hooped earring was found along with a white barrette. She had some dental crowding, which caused one of her front teeth to be crooked. The woman was believed to be between eighteen and twenty-two when she was strangled several months to three years before her body was found. The age and time of death of the victim are now known to have been inaccurate, as Bruszer was thirty-three at the time she disappeared a month before the remains were found. Identification: Early into the investigation, it was speculated that the victim was one of four missing females from the area, Nancy Wilcox, Susan Curtis, Debra Kent and Nancy Baird. Later, these were eventually eliminated as potential identities after x-rays of Juab County Jane Doe's teeth were compared to their dental records. Currently, all four subjects still remain missing and have never been recovered. A detective was looking through the evidence locker at the Davis County Sheriff's Office in 2013 when he came across some hair marked "Hair from Yuba Lake body." This was attributed to retired Davis County Sheriff's Captain Kenny Payne formerly working there as well as the state medical examiner's office at the same time and misplacing the evidence. The detective sent it off to Juab County soon after. The Juab County Sheriff's Office secured a sample of this evidence and had it sent to Texas for testing in 2014. There a DNA profile was generated and entered into the national database of missing people resulting in a familial match with two of Bruszer's family members who had submitted their DNA in the hopes of locating her. On August 22, 2015 the Long Beach Police informed the relatives that Bruszer had formally been identified.