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Indiana authorities identify pregnant woman found dead in 1992

Tabetha Ann Murlin of Fort Wayne, Indiana, has been identified as the long-unnamed pregnant woman whose body was found in a basement in 1992.

A pregnant woman who was found dead in 1992 in a northeastern Indiana basement has been identified through forensic genetic genealogy and DNA provided by her father, authorities said Thursday.

The woman was identified as Tabetha Ann Murlin of Fort Wayne, who was about 26 weeks pregnant at the time of her death, said Allen County Coroner Dr. E. Jon Brandenberger.

"This is Tabetha’s day, and you’ve been waiting to have a day for her for all this time," the coroner said at a news conference attended by some of Murlin's relatives nearly 32 years after her body was discovered.


Brandenberger said Murlin would have been 23 when a construction worker found her decomposed body wrapped in a blanket in May 1992 in the flooded basement of a home being renovated in Fort Wayne.

Investigators estimated the then-identified woman had died between late 1991 and early 1992.

Authorities were unable to identify the body at the time, but they renewed that effort in 2016 before it was exhumed in March 2017 to collect DNA samples for analysis.

A nearly complete DNA profile was eventually extracted and initially uploaded to a database of offenders before it was uploaded in January to genealogical databases, officials said. A forensic genealogy company was then able to identify Murlin’s father, her late mother and two aunts.

Murlin’s identity was confirmed after her father submitted a sample of his DNA for testing in January, authorities said.

The cause and manner of Murlin's death have not been determined and the investigation into her death is continuing, officials said Thursday.

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