SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) – San Bernardino County authorities say a cold-case investigation has determined that remains found in 1969 in a shallow grave near Wrightwood were those of a teenage girl whose disappearance had been a mystery for 44 years.
A coroner‘s press release says the remains were identified as those of 14-year-old Elizabeth Ernstein, who was last seen on March 19, 1968, a block from her Mentone home as she returned from school. Sheriff’s personnel and volunteers searched unsuccessfully for months.
Earlier this year, DNA samples were obtained from Elizabeth’s sister and brother, and last month were matched to the remains, which had been exhumed for testing in 2011.
Officials haven’t said what led them to consider whether her remains had been found in the past but had remained unidentified. Murder is suspected.