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Chong Un Kim, 26, is identified as a woman found dead in a suitcase in a dumpster in a cold case in Georgia in 1988

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Chong Un Kim, 26, is identified as a woman found dead in a suitcase in a dumpster in a cold case in Georgia in 1988

By Mackenzie Tatananni for Dailymail.Com

15:04 Oct 30, 2023, updated 15:11 Oct 30, 2023

  • The “Jenkins County Jane Doe” was identified as Chong Un Kim, a Korean woman who came to the United States in 1981
  • Her body was found nearly four decades ago, but DNA technology was not advanced enough to identify her
  • This year, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation began working with a genealogy company to solve the mystery

The identity of a woman whose body was discovered in a Georgia dumpster 35 years ago has been revealed thanks to advances in DNA sequencing technology.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said it has identified the former “Jenkins County Jane Doe” as Chong Un Kim, who was just 26 years old when she was killed.

On Valentine’s Day 1988, the 1.50 meter tall, 70 kilogram woman was found wrapped in plastic and tape in a large nylon suitcase.

Her body was dumped at the intersection of the Millen Bypass and Old Perkins Road four to seven days after her death. She reportedly died of asphyxia.

“There is still much work to be done to solve the mystery surrounding Kim’s death, and we will work tirelessly to bring justice and peace to her family,” the GBI said in a Facebook post.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has identified the former “Jenkins County Jane Doe” as Chong Un Kim, 26. The young woman’s body was found in a dumpster north of the town of Millen. It was wrapped in plastic and tape and placed in a large zippered nylon case

Kim was originally from Korea and moved to the United States in 1981. She lived in Hinesville until her death.

At that time, the GBI was invited by the Jenkins County Sheriff’s Office to assist with an ongoing death investigation.

Investigators scrambled to match the body’s dental records and fingerprints to missing people across the country.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children created a composite image that was released to the public. It was published in The Millen News, a local publication, and found that her upper front teeth were overcrowded.

More than three decades later, DNA evidence from a blanket and other items was resubmitted to the GBI Crime Lab.

However, the DNA profile could not be entered into the Combined DNA Index System, a computer program that maintains databases of profiles from unsolved crime scene evidence.

This year, the GBI began working with Othram Inc., a Texas-based genealogy company that specializes in naming Jane Does.

“Based on the DNA, a genealogical search revealed investigative leads that led to Kim’s identification,” the office’s statement said. Her family was informed of the positive match this month.

Kim moved to the United States from Korea in 1981, just seven years before her death. At the time, the GBI was invited by the Jenkins County Sheriff’s Office to assist with the ongoing death investigation (pictured: sketch of Kim by a forensic artist). , DNA sequencing technology was not advanced enough to confirm her identity and the case was dropped (Image: an early report in The Millen News). Jenkins County Sheriff Robert Oglesby credits the GBI with solving the mystery since “nothing really worked out” before. to the office handling the case. Local publications like The Millen News (pictured) shared a composite image in the hopes that someone would recognize Kim’s face

Jenkins County Sheriff Robert Oglesby praised the GBI for making tremendous progress in Kim’s case.

“There were several people you talked to who thought they might have seen something, but nothing ever really panned out,” Oglesby told WJFB.

“I inherited this one, but it still feels good to cross one off the unsolved list.”

The outlet originally reported Kim’s death in a 2021 episode of the investigative series “Cold Case Project.”

Breakthroughs in DNA analysis have helped identify several other Jane Dos such as Lisa Coburn Kesler, whose remains were discovered along a North Carolina highway in September 1990.

At the time of her death, technology had not advanced enough to identify her – but in 2020 her DNA was sent to Astrea Forensics, a biotechnology company that helps law enforcement identify human remains.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation then recruited a forensic genealogist who was able to track down Kesler’s family using online databases.