After 33 years of being unable to identify a body buried in the Gypsum Hill Cemetery, Saline County Sheriff officials may be one step closer now.
On Monday, the sheriff's office exhumed a body who has never been identified and referred to as "Miss Molly," in order to test her DNA with technology that was not available when she died.
During a news conference Tuesday, Sheriff Roger Soldan said the body may be a missing person from Europe, more specifically the Belgium area.
"Miss Molly's" body was found Jan. 25, 1986 in a creek along Interstate 70.
Soldan told The Topeka Capital-Journal the death was investigated as a homicide due to "Miss Molly" being beaten up and thrown off a bridge into the creek.
Lt. Mike Smith, who has been working the case since 2000, said during the news conference when he contacted Interpol years ago regarding the case, he was directed to the Netherlands National Police.
Soldan said the exhumation took about two hours and by 11:30 a.m. the body was reburied.
DNA results will take about six to eight months, Soldan said.
"This will also rule in or rule out the one from overseas that Interpol was looking at," Soldan said. "They have DNA for her, but we didn't have the DNA sample to match."
Soldan said when they previously looked at matching the body found in Salina to the missing person in Europe, they could never rule her out, but not everything was a match.
Smith said several citizens led the sheriff's office to the missing woman from Belgium and believes the tip came in from The Doe Network, a non-profit organization that works with law enforcement to connect missing persons with Jane and John Doe cases.
Soldan said finding out "Miss Molly's" identity and history hopefully leads to a suspect.
"It's not a far stretch to say their family might know who she was with or what she was doing in the state if she's from out of the states," Soldan said. "Finding out who she is would be a good first step."