Unidentified Woman's Body To Return To Family After More Than 30 Years


UPDATED: Wednesday March 5, 2014 11:23 PM

The final steps are taken to bring closure to a family whose loved one was murdered, but not identified for 30 years.

Sharon Bowen's family members tell us they are finalizing arrangements to travel to Columbus to bring her home to Utah.

Bowen was known as "Mary Rose Doe" for decades. Her body was dumped near the Hoover Reservoir in July 1983.

Her identity was discovered after thirty years by detectives trying to solve cold cases.

Now, Sharon Bowen's family is taking her home to Utah.

"We finally have the death certificate and we have the permits to have her body exhumed and we are going to bring her home," said Bowen's sister, Marcia Bateman.

The Jane Doe laid to rest in a local cemetery three decades ago is about to be unearthed and taken to her home near Salt Lake City.  The headstone will finally bear her real name.

"I never gave up hope.  Thirty years I kept trying to find her," said Bateman.

Bateman will come to get Bowen next week.

"Visit the people that have taken such good care of her and then we'll fly home Thursday with her," said Bateman.

Bowen was found near the Hoover Reservoir in 1983.  She had been strangled and had no ID.  A local church community gave her a name, Mary Rose Doe, and a service.  Detectives tried to figure out for years who she was and, just months ago, were following a lead of a missing Kentucky woman.

"They put the fingerprints in and instantly it said it was our sister, Sharon Bowen," said Bateman.

Not the ending the family was hoping for, but relief to finally have answers.

"I feel like we're finally having the complete closure on this case," Bateman said.

Bateman says Bowen left home in 1982 after a divorce.  They don't know why she was in Ohio or who killed her.  The family is hoping those questions are eventually answered too.

Previous Stories

Columbus Victim From 1983 Homicide Identified

Columbus Detective Explains How Authorities Identified Cold Case Victim

©2014 by 10TV.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.