FL - Melinda Harder, 30, St Petersburg, 27 July 1980

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by Sleuthster, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster New Member

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    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/h/harder_melinda.html

    http://blogs.tampabay.com/breakingnews/2008/10/skeletal-remain.html

    October 15, 2008

    Skeletal remains found in 1989 identified as St. Petersburg woman missing since 1980

    ST. PETERSBURG -- Skeletal remains found in Maximo Park in March 1989 have been identified as a woman who went missing in 1980, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.
    On the evening of July 26, 1980, police said, Melinda Harder, 30, of 2136 23rd Ave. N in St. Petersburg went out with her sister-in-law while her ex-husband watched her three children. When the two women returned home, Harder walked to her boyfriend's house in the area of 17th Street and 20th Avenue N, police said. She never came back, and a missing persons report was filed the next day.

    Nine years later, a bulldozer clearing brush from an area in Maximo Park, 6500 34th St. S, uncovered a rolled-up carpet containing the bones of a female, police said. There were no signs of trauma, but the Medical Examiners Office said the cause of death was homicidal violence. The manner of death and her identity was undetermined.
    Using the bones as a guide, a clay composite of the unidentified woman was reconstructed and sent to law enforcement agencies across the country. Brenda Stevenson, a St. Petersburg Police civilian investigator assigned to the homicide unit who routinely revisits cold cases, submitted forensic evidence of the remains to the FBI. Police said Stevenson then reviewed an FBI list of missing white females over a 10 year period from when the bones were found. She noticed that the Maximo Park clay composite looked a lot like a photo of missing Melinda Harder. Stevenson waited more than a year for DNA results.
    Based on cheek swabs from Harder's daughter and mother, police said, the DNA proved Stevenson's suspicions.
    There are no known suspects in Harder's homicide. St. Petersburg Police are now seeking clues about how she died. Police ask that anyone with information call the department at (727) 893-7780 or the confidential tip line at (727) 892-5000.
     
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  3. Lucy's mom

    Lucy's mom Member

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    I'm so glad that her family finally knows where she is but my gosh, did that take a long time. I wish there would have been something on Doe Network about unidentified remains as well as the clay composite. I'm sure one of the WS' would have figured out who she was long ago! Glad to hear she's found but would like to now know who killed her. I wonder if they looked or are looking at the boyfriend?
     
  4. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster New Member

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    Yes, the fact that she was found rolled up in carpet makes me suspicious that it was someone she knew and went to their home. It has been so long now I wonder if the same carpet would be in the boyfriends house now or if he or his family lives there after all this time.
     
  5. Ms Suzanne

    Ms Suzanne Active Member

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    Hi

    This is very good they found out who she is.I always use to think this Jane Doe(I heard about her many years ago)was a victim of Bobby Joe Long (A serial Killer in Tampa Florida)In this link it says this?Is this unidentified girl still unidentified today?


    http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/serial_killers/predators/long/index.html


    Then other bodies were found.

    Bobby Joe Long, 1984


    On November 19, 1984, a woman's corpse floated up in the
     
  6. Ms Suzanne

    Ms Suzanne Active Member

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    In this link it says this?Is this unidentified girl still unidentified today?


    On November 19, 1984, a woman's corpse floated up in the Hillsborough River. She had been strangled with some type of device. She was never identified, but she fit Long's profile.
     
  7. OkieGranny

    OkieGranny <b><span style="color:#660033;">WS Forum Coordinat Forum Coordinators

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    From October 2008:

    http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20081016/ARTICLES/810162995

    From January 2009:

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/obitua...ember-mother-who-vanished-29-years-ago/971788

     
  8. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster New Member

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  9. Sleuthster

    Sleuthster New Member

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  10. strangenurse

    strangenurse New Member

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    He did like brown hair parted in the middle.

    He supposedly was not adverse to transporting victims to nearby relatives homes. (I don't believe the pond near his cousin's home was searched.) A family member rented a home nearby at the time of the murder.

    Does anyone know which section of the current Maximo Park that she was located in? I am trying to pinpoint the exact location. They mention bulldozers found her. I am wondering if they were working around the area of the park near the disc course or pavilions.
     
  11. KayElJay

    KayElJay <b><span style="color:#000099;">WS Forum Moderator Moderator

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    Welcome to Websleuths strangenurse! I'm not sure if this helps you pinpoint a more exact location, but

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/obitua...ember-mother-who-vanished-29-years-ago/971788

    I'll keep looking for more information about the circumstances surrounding the discovery of her remains.
     
  12. strangenurse

    strangenurse New Member

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    Thank you for the welcome! At the time of her disappearance, the area was quite different. I am trying to determine if they were clearing the area for the pavilions and disc course with the bulldozer. That would place her close to the entrance of the park.

    Thank you for your help. :)
     
  13. KayElJay

    KayElJay <b><span style="color:#000099;">WS Forum Moderator Moderator

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    I will keep looking, but hopefully someone with better skills than I have will be able to answer your question. I'm not at all familiar with the area, sorry I wasn't any help! It's always nice to see a new face in the Cold Case area.
     

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