Discussion in 'Identified!' started by CarlK90245, Mar 25, 2011.
We are hopeful that her ID might help investigators figure out what happened.
That tricky Double-Post Gremlin got othram!!!
According to this article Shawna had red hair. I wonder now if the so called blonde hair was hers after all....how sad if it is....I was really hoping this could be a lead to her killer(s) We just have to wait and see.
Not viewable for me due to location. Could you paraphrase/ summarize just a little from it?
Do they mention if she was formally reported missing or what they were told about her whereabouts, if she was last in foster care?
by: Kelli Peltier
Posted: Apr 2, 2021 / 07:16 PM CDT / Updated: Apr 2, 2021 / 07:16 PM CDT
TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – It’s thanks to advanced DNA testing that investigators have connected the victim of a decades-long homicide case to family living in Topeka.
DNA evidence helps identify homicide victim 30 years later
“I lost it at that moment. You know, just bawling and crying and wondering why,” Danielle Pixler, the victim’s half-sister said.
For Pixler, it’s been 28 years of wondering.
Wondering why she couldn’t have just a little more time with her big sister Shawna Beth whose distant memory she holds to tightly.
“The couch, with her sitting on it. And I see her little round face and red hair,” Pixler recalled.
Her half-sister’s life cut short at just 22 years old; the victim of a gruesome homicide that happened in 1990 in Missouri.
With no promising leads as to who the victim was, or who was responsible, the case went cold for over 30 years until this week.
“Nine months ago, I was having nightmares about somebody screaming and yelling help me. I had no clue,” Pixler said.
No clue those dreams may have been about her older sister, and an image of what might have happened to her after they lost touch.
Danielle, Shawna, and their big brother Robert Ringwald were separated by foster care when they were little kids.
Robert recalled a rough upbringing, but a close connection that got them through it all.
“We were real close. She was always happy and always full of energy,” Ringwald said.
The two had been looking for Shawna ever since, but never finding answers until this week when a DNA swab provided by Danielle matched the profile done by a forensic company for Shawna’s remains.
“Like a piece of my heart and soul had been destroyed,” Ringwald said. “Just devasting.”
News that shattered the hope that Robert had kept alive all these years that one day the two would be together again.
“You know I never stopped loving her, wanted to introduce her to her nieces and nephews, one of whom is named after her,” Ringwald said.
Memories too of what could have been.
“We would’ve been best friends. We could talk, hang out,” Pixler said. “We could’ve done each other’s hair…I mean there’s so much we could’ve done as little girls.”
Now, after finally getting closer to the truth of what happened to Shawna, their family is encouraging others dealing with cold cases to never give up and are hoping that technology in DNA testing that helped this case will lead officials to whoever did this.
“She’s in heaven, we know that. And at least I know there’s closure on knowing that where she is,” Pixler said.
Shawna’s brother Robert said the last he heard of his sister, she was somewhere in Oklahoma and had changed her last name to Harvey.
Now their family wants justice for their sister and for the truth of what happened to her to come out.
If you have any information that could help police with this investigation, you can call the McDonald County Sheriff’s Office at (417) 223-4319 and ask for Lt. Michael Hall.
For more information on the technology that was used to identify Shawna’s remains, click here and her
I would want to as well but we don’t know what his home life was like. I have a lot of family in the area she was found & my grandparents lived in pineville at one point. As much as I hate to say it but that side of my family is pretty worthless tbh & if their child saw her body idk that anything would have been said because the parents were spun out or drunk most of the time. The kids were taught to stay away from police or they’d go to jail or cause the parents to go to jail & they’d go to later homes and be abused or killed. If the parents were very abusivo the kid may have thought his dad, grandpa, uncle or loved one did it and kept quiet.
Thia doesn’t mean the entire area is like my family-I know there are many good god fearing wonderful ppl there.
The only good jobs back then that I knew of besides farming/ranching you’d have to drive to larger cities like Joplin,down in Arkansas or into Kansas or Oklahoma ( it’s a triatare area) so the kids parents may not have been home much or been so busy they didn’t have a lot of time to spare.
If he was a kid that has a wild imagination already then they may have thought this was just another story and blew it off refusing to go with him to see. Then there is the chance that one of the parents did go check and was too afraid to say anything because they knew someone in the area had to have done it.
I firmly believe it was someone in that area because pineville isn’t a large city you would exit off the highway to get gas or something to eat or whatever. It was a small rural area of farmland that you passed through to get to Walmart which was about 25-30 min away
A DNA extraction taken from Grace Doe's skeletal remains provided a new start. Othram, an independent lab in Texas, utilized DNA processes and genealogy to try to figure out Grace Doe's identity. Othram then provided Hall with a list of 12 possible relatives of Doe. The first two names didn't have phone numbers, so he called the third, he said.
That was Pixler. He explained that investigators were working on identifying a person in a cold case. The person had had extensive dental work done. Pixler felt in her heart that it was her half-sister, Shawna Garber.
Pixler has been trying to find her half-sister for 28 years. Their mother was not a nice person, Pixler explained. Garber was burned and later, required extensive dental work.
"She was burned and had to redo all her teeth," she said.
Hall asked if Pixler would be willing to take a DNA test. She took the test, sent it to Hall, who then sent it on to Othram. When the results came back, Hall informed her of the match.
Investigators believe Grace Doe is Shawna Garber, her half-sister. The match was made in Garber's birthday month when she would have celebrated her 53rd birthday.
She was only 22 years old when she died. Many questions remain.
Pixler Is 'Tired, Overwhelmed' That Grace Doe Is The Half-Sister She Sought
Gosh, what that girl went through at the hands of someone who should have cherished her. Rest in paradise, Shawna.
The McDonald County Sheriff’s Office had partnered with Othram, a company in Texas that specializes in human identification for hard to solve cases.
“The testing we do is literally tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of markers of DNA.” explains Michael Vogen, Director of Case Management at Othram. “Using that data, we’re able to generate really good DNA profiles that can then be used to upload into various databases to find the closest of ken of the source of DNA that we’re looking for.”
Using advanced DNA testing and forensic genealogy, the company compiled a genealogical tree of people who could have been related to “Grace Doe.” Pixler was on that list. So she was asked to provide a DNA sample at the Topeka Police Department. A few weeks later, the results were in. Grace Doe was her sister Shawna.
“I was freaking out. I was overwhelmed. I was crying. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe this,'” says Pixler.
Cold case victim's sister talks about her decades long search for her sister - KOAM
I did some research on Shawna and some info came up. It sounds like Shawna lived with a foster family for a long time (they wanted to adopt her, but the money hungry FC system refused).
Here's a narrative of Shawna's life that I've pieced together from all articles regarding her:
Shawna was born on March 1, 1968 in Kansas. Her mother was only 29 and she was likely born out of wedlock. She had two older half-siblings who also lived with her. Shawna's mother abused the three children and burned Shawna when she was young (this later led to her requiring dental reconstruction). The family was split around 1970 and Shawna was put into a different foster home than her siblings. The last time either of her siblings saw her was around 1971 when they had a third birthday party for Shawna at a social services office. She was later raised with a family and changed her surname to "Garber".
I'll update this as I find more information.
Did you mean "Her mother was only 19"?
I’ve read her mother’s obituary and she was 29, I don’t know why I added the “only”.
Some more information on the case: Grace Doe
So I wonder what happened to her foster family and why they never searched for her.
It's complicated. Its unclear how long she was in foster care and its even less clear what happened after she left.
It's unclear how long she was in foster care? That's so sad. Was there no formal plan for her after she reached adulthood? Someone failed this young woman big-time and should answer for it. Just my opinion.
Yes, its very sad. Investigators are digging into this now, as they trace her whereabouts and try to figure out what happened. We are hopefully they will provide an update at some point.