Match! OH - Strongsville, WhtFem UP15394, 15-25, in Rocky River, Feb'75 *Linda Pagano*

Discussion in 'Identified!' started by Migmuu, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. Migmuu

    Migmuu Well-Known Member

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    I came across a Reddit post on r/UnresolvedMysteries by a user named callmeice and am reposting this with his/her permission, since they're unable to start a thread here. While doing research on another mystery in Cleveland, they came upon a cemetery listing for a Jane Doe homicide victim who was buried on May 15, 1975. S/he did more research - including looking at newspaper archives on microfiche in the local library - and was able to dig up some more information.

    Reddit links aren't allowed (it just gets starred out), so I'm reposting the whole thing here.


    ---

    Cleveland suburb, '74-75:
    While researching another Cleveland mystery, I stumbled upon a cemetery index listing for unidentified female bones. A call to the cemetery confirmed that no action had been taken since her interment, and further research at a local library of newspapers on microfiche turned up a handful of articles. I have attempted to contact the city's detective but have not had any response in months. I have not contacted the county. No resolution is found within the articles nor in any for some years after and possibly to this day.

    A search of databases such as the county and state unidentified, as well as NamUs as not turned up anything that I can connect to this woman. As one will see in the articles, there was quite a confusion regarding who was handling the case. That, and with time surpassed, I think contributed to her not being listed.

    If there are any questions, I will do my best to answer.

    This is the main index that lists the unnamed at this particular cemetery (Highland Park/Memorial Gardens).
    And this is a link to an image of the original cemetery index. She is the eleventh down, number 82483. The following info is given on this page:

    Date of Death: 2-5-1975
    Date of Int.: 5-15-1975
    Name: Unknow [sic] White Female Bones
    Address: Strongsville, O.
    Age: about 20
    Cause of Death: Gunshot wound of head

    The following are the contents of the articles I have found. I did my best to get exact sources, and transcribe accurately (microfiche printed was awful). I am sorry if this is formatted horrifically.

    Strongsville Star, 12 Feb. 1975, page 4:

    Strongsville Star, 19 Feb. 1975, page 12:

    Strongsville News Sun, 27 Feb. 1975, front page headline:

    Edit: here is the appropriate location of where she was found. I'm assuming they considered the creek-river the Rocky River as it's a tributary. I can't 100% verify the tracks are the B&O RR either, I will look at my detailed county map in a day or so. Eastland road is sectioned and here I think it is called Valley Pkwy. She could have been hitchhiking and was traveling on the turnpike I-80, it's right there.

    http://imgur.com/xRS1OCn and http://imgur.com/tkQnLEQ
     
  2. Migmuu

    Migmuu Well-Known Member

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    The only missing Ohio woman I can find so far who fits the (vague) description is Joanne Coughlin, who went missing from Youngstown two days after Christmas 1974.

    Age (21) would be within range
    Race (Caucasian) matches
    Distance (71.5 miles between Youngstown and Strongsville) works
    Timing (little over 2 months from date LKA to the UID's date of discovery) is reasonable

    The circumstances don't match up though. While Coughlin was likely the victim of foul play, her Charley profile says investigators believe her car - with her body inside - was dumped in a quarry in Pennsylvania. So I'm not too confident about this PM.
     
  3. ice190

    ice190 New Member

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    Migmuu, I thank you for posting this for me (callmeice from reddit). I thought it was the same username here but rather it was close.

    To everyone reading, I plan on calling the city and county detectives and ME to see if I can gain anymore info on this woman. When weather permits, I will check to see if she ever received that headstone. I may also go back to the library and attempt to locate more articles from Strongsville and the county, but this is only if my schedule allows it.
     
  4. Irish_Eyes

    Irish_Eyes Well-Known Member

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    Wow, this is my backyard, so to speak. Happy to help in any way I can. Yes, Eastland becomes Valley Parkway when you enter the Metroparks - I think that's Mill Stream Run Reservation.

    It doesn't say homicide or suicide. Homicides in the Metroparks are crazy rare - the Metroparks are really considered very safe and Clevelanders will tell you it's one of our favorite parts about living here. They do get their share of suicides though.

    Then again, that was a crazy time in Cleveland with mob wars and all, so anything is possible I guess.
     
  5. Irish_Eyes

    Irish_Eyes Well-Known Member

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    Welcome ice190! Guessing you're a fellow Clevelander. Thanks for getting this ball rolling.
     
  6. musicaljoke

    musicaljoke Well-Known Member

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    The skeleton was found on Feb. 5, 1974, so her date of death had to have been some time before that.

    Charlotte Brown was last seen in April 1973 in Cleveland, OH, at the rapid transit (railway?) station.

    https://www.findthemissing.org/en/cases/7540/89/
     
  7. musicaljoke

    musicaljoke Well-Known Member

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    It's dreadful how the article is about the cost of her burial rather than about trying to ID her or find her killer.
     
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  8. CarlK90245

    CarlK90245 UID Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  9. musicaljoke

    musicaljoke Well-Known Member

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  10. Irish_Eyes

    Irish_Eyes Well-Known Member

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    Could be. But Charlotte Brown's husband's first wife, Darcy Brown also went missing a few years before her and has also never been found. I think Charlotte would have been someone they would have looked into at the time, but you never know.

    Yes, the "rapid" is the local mass transit railway system.
     
  11. ice190

    ice190 New Member

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    Without regarding time frames, the two Browns and Ruth Baumgartner rang a bell
    In Darcy's profile on Charley it says she may be buried in the Hinckley and another nearby area. Strongsville isn't too far off from either.

    Yes, I'm a Clevelander! This and my signature gives that one away!
     
  12. ice190

    ice190 New Member

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    I need to make a correction to the original post.

    The date of death as listed on the cemetery index is February 5, 1974, not 1975. So they estimated she was deceased for up to one year when she was found on February 5, 1975. She was found in winter so I would hope they took that into account, meaning it could be longer. This narrows out a few suggestions already.
     
  13. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

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    Hi and welcome, ice190. If I may suggest adding the county coroners office to the list of authorities you are going to call. They may have information and you can also suggest utilizing NamUs to the authorities you contact.


    hth and good luck!
     
  14. Irish_Eyes

    Irish_Eyes Well-Known Member

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    Cuyahoga has been entering cases in Namus, but perhaps not all of them. When I tried to deal with the coroner's office regarding the guy who jumped off a bridge on I-90 it was pretty hard to get anywhere. We definitely need to find out who handles cold cases there.
     
  15. ice190

    ice190 New Member

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    I need to make a correction to the original post.

    The date of death as listed on the cemetery index is February 5, 1974, not 1975. So they estimated she was deceased for up to one year when she was found on February 5, 1975. She was found in winter so I would hope they took that into account, meaning it could be longer. This narrows out a few suggestions already.

    In regards to who handles the cold cases at the county coroner's, they're certainly making progress in the rape kit department..

    I am attempting to contact the city of Strongsville now.
     
  16. Irish_Eyes

    Irish_Eyes Well-Known Member

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    I can go to the library too. With the amount of credits I'm taking this quarter I imagine I'll be there a lot anyway. Just let me know what you need.
     
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  17. ice190

    ice190 New Member

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    For some reason my last message said it didn't post, so I apparently submitted it twice, sorry about that

    Info Updates: I have contacted about everyone I can so far. I'm new at this, so keep suggestions rolling!

    Highland Park Cemetery: Verified everything that we already know, as well as that they have no record of any exhumation, death certificate, or any case numbers. They insist she won't have a headstone in Potter's Field. I'm doubtful, I have seen pictures and there are a few markers, but I will not be able to check until the weather permits.

    Strongsville PD, Detective Bureau Sargent: They do not have any records dating 1974-1975. He said they should have all unsolved homicides, but he does not have anything on this case. This leads me to believe it was in the Metroparks' jurisdiction as I will show below.

    Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's office (Coroner): The have the general information of when and where this case started. They verified this Jane Doe is still unidentified. The lady told me to send an email request for the Medical Examiner's report (I believe this means autopsy?). I will be doing that after I post this. She told me in their file there is a Metroparks Rangers' report number listed, #75-403, and suggested I call them. She then directed me to another person;

    ME Administrator: This transfer was in regards to finding out how I can get Jane Doe listed on NamUs. He knows what it is, but says it may be hard to get info on there from the ME's end, because there is seemingly no info they could enter. I told him there is a section only visible to case managers and law enforcement and sensitive info would not be seen by the public. He said there is likely some type of dental x-ray available, but definitely no DNA. I asked him about the process of exhumation for DNA in the case of an unidentified individual with no next-of-kin signing for one: he says there will be a slew of court proceedings, unless someone thinks she may be a relative. He will call me back when he speaks to another person regarding this process.

    Metroparks Rangers PD Headquarters: I called and was transferred to the records department where I had to leave a voicemail. I will be keeping an eye on my phone. I believe since there is a report number from the Metroparks and not Strongsville that the subsequent investigation took place under theirs and the county's jurisdiction.

    That is all I can give you at this point. I'll read every post and check every person suggestion. Also, I realized that tomorrow will be the 40th anniversary of her discovery. I think I'll stop by. Thank you all for your interest and support!
     
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  18. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    I found this: http://www.cleveland.com/coldcase/homicidedatabase/

    The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor has established a Cold Case Squad in 2006 to investigate unsolved cases believed to be murders. A federal grant limits the work to cases with viable DNA evidence.

    This database has 78 cases being investigated by the Cold Case Squad. Where available, links are provided to stories from Plain Dealer archives. The newspaper did not write stories about all of the deaths listed.

    The list will be updated periodically as more information is found. According to the Ohio Attorney General, there are about 1,000 unsolved deaths in Cuyahoga County.

    If you have information that could help investigators send a note to the prosecutor electronically or call the Cold Case Squad at 216-443-5871.


    The database shows two cases from the fifties and then jumps to 1984. None of them appear to be unidentified victims, but it might be worth calling them to find out what their criteria are and whether they're aware of this case.
     
  19. ice190

    ice190 New Member

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    I've obtained the ME (autopsy) report. Since I was able to obtain it, I presume it's legal to put on here for research. I think a call to Berea PD and the Western Reserve Medical Center may help.

    I think we're screwed on facial reconstruction.

    The skeleton was missing quite a few bones due to scavenging of animals and possibly water current. Only 5 teeth and an unerupted #16 wisdom tooth were present, post mortem loss of the others. No mandible.

    Report might be gruesome for some.
    View attachment DOC020515-02052015085821.pdf

    Case number: 156963
    Autopsy number: M-38363

    Tell me what you make of it?
     
  20. nerosleuth

    nerosleuth Well-Known Member

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    Is the Metroparks a public park system owned and operated by a county? If it was a county park, wouldn’t the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office have been involved in the investigation as well?
     

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