RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — The Richland County Coroner’s Office has identified a “Jane Doe” in a 1982 cold case.
The woman, now identified as Virginia Higgins Ray, had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and was a patient at Richland County state hospital before being transferred to the woman’s ward on Bull Street, authorities said.
Her identity had remained unknown for more than 40 years despite extensive efforts by the coroner’s office and anthropology team, the coroner’s office said.
Genetic genealogists from FHD Forensics joined the investigation and discovered a large family tree. Through targeted press releases, Ray’s daughter contacted Richland County’s anthropology department on Mother’s Day, believing they had her mother’s remains.
DNA testing from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the relationship between Ray’s sibling and the unidentified remains of “Jane Doe.”
This investigation received support from the Dean and Tina Linn Clouse Memorial Fund, the coroner’s office said.