Identified! CA - Eureka, Female Torso, 18-25, SK victim, UP53661F, in Ryan Slough, Oct'97 - Kerry Ann Cummings

It was sad reading the part where it said that Kerry was suffering from mental illness at the time of her death. I was amazed when I read that her sister looked on NamUs for her specifically searching Jane Doe entries.

«(…) after Kerry went missing her parents tried to report her as missing in Arizona and Oregon, and even hired a private investigator, but due to laws surrounding the report of missing persons at that time, a missing persons report was never taken. Therefore, Kerry was never listed as a missing person or entered into any national missing persons databases.

“Unfortunately, back then they were told that Kerry was an adult, that she had chosen the lifestyle, and that if she wasn’t a threat to herself or others, there was nothing that [law enforcement] could do”»

How infuriating, but considering how often we hear this whenever someone is identified, I’m not surprised, either. The family did all they could, but LE handling the MP side just dropped the ball. Fortunately, the LE investigating the UID side didn’t give up and were wise enough to involve Othram.

My sympathies to the loved ones of Kerry Ann Cummings ♡
Through a partnership with the California Department of Justice and the forensic genealogy laboratory Othram Inc., the sheriff's office was able to identify the woman as Kerry Ann Cummings, who was about 25 when she went missing in 1997.

In October of that year, a duck hunter located partial human remains in Ryan Slough, north of Eureka, and additional partial remains were recovered on Clam Beach the following January. Efforts to identify both were unsuccessful, though subsequent testing identified them as having belonged to the same person.

Ford infamously turned himself into the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office main station Nov. 3, 1998, walking in with a severed breast in his pocket, and subsequently admitted to murdering several women throughout the north state, including the woman whose partial remains were found in Ryan Slough, according to a press release. Ford was subsequently convicted of four counts of murder and sentenced to death, and currently is held on San Quentin Prison's death row.

But efforts to identify Cummings' remains have continued for decades, with investigators checking her DNA profile against missing persons databases, found remains and the National Unidentified Persons Index.

In December, the sheriff's office and Department of Justice partnered with Othram Inc. in an effort to determine if advanced DNA testing could help identify Cummings, or at least a close relative of hers.

Investigators contacted Kathy, asking if she had any missing family members. She replied that her sister, Kerry, had been missing since the mid-1990s. Kathy later told investigators that her sister had been suffering from an untreated mental illness and was couch-surging in the Eugene, Oregon area when the family lost contact with her.

“Kerry was beautiful, funny, smart and an artist. She was great at making us laugh,” Kathie Cummings, told investigators, according to the release. “It is devastating what mental illness can do in a span of only two short years.”

"Kerry was beautiful, funny, smart, and an artist. She was great at making us laugh,” said Kathie Cummings, “It is devastating what mental illness can do in a span of only two short years."
Kerry Ann Cummings (Humboldt County Sheriff's Office)
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