Detective Explains How Police Identified Woman Killed 30 Years Ago


UPDATED: Friday January 10, 2014 11:27 PM

The original homicide detective on a 30 year cold case is explaining how police finally identified the victim, Sharon Bowen.

"There just weren't any leads, it was the kind of case where you had to try to make your own break,"  said retired Columbus Police Detective, Ed Kallay

It was a case that always stuck with Kallay.  12 years retired from homicide, he was lead detective when Sharon Bowen's body was found but had no idea at that time who she was.   Two fisherman discovered her in the woods near the Hoover Reservoir.

"There was no identification, no paperwork, no nothing with her," said Kallay.  "It looked like she had been strangled, possibly with one of the pieces of clothing."

Her prints and dental records were run through a national database.  There were no hits.

"We probably tracked down hundreds of leads from missing cases all over the country and none of them actually came up with her," Kallay said.

He kept trying until he retired in 2002 and it stayed in his mind long after.

Homicide's not the kind of case that you can just leave at the office and go home and forget about what you're doing," said Kallay.

Others didn't forget that mysterious body discovered in the woods either.  Cold case detectives say the woman's prints were run again recently.  There was a hit.  Sharon Bowen, a Utah woman who left home in 1982 and wasn't heard from again.

"Instantly, I just started crying.  I was relieved it was her, saddened it was her,"  said Bowen's sister, Marcia Bateman.

Bateman finds closure in finally knowing what happened but she's upset at the outcome.  Her mother died recently.  One of their last conversations came true.

"When she was passing, and I told her, now you will know where sharon is and tears rolled down her cheeks,"  said Bateman.

Kallay is hoping with Bowen now identified, detectives will be able to figure out who killed her.

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