WILKES-BARRE, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Human remains discovered in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania nearly ten years ago have been identified as those of a teenager who went missing in 1969.
Pennsylvania State Police say Joan Marie Dymond of Wilkes-Barre was 14 years old when she disappeared from Andover Street Park on June 25, 1969.
Police say although her remains have been identified, they are now searching for her killer.
"We never stopped pursuing answers, and this investigation remains very active," Captain Patrick Dougherty, commanding officer of PSP Troop P, said in a release Tuesday. "After 53 years, the family of Joan Marie Dymond very much deserves closure. We will do everything in our power to see that they have it."
The human remains of the young woman, previously known only as Jane "Newport" Doe, were discovered on the grounds of a former coal-mining operation in Newport Township, Pennsylvania on Nov. 17, 2012.
Police say those who discovered the remains had been digging for relics in a trash-filled depression in the ground.
Examination of the remains led authorities to determine they were those of a female, estimated to be in her mid-teens to early 20s, who died of suspicious or "foul play" circumstances.
Police say lab results indicated a high probability she died in the late 1960s.
The next step saw the Criminal Investigation Unit at state police's Shickshinny station submit the victim's DNA profile to a national database for comparison to other profiles on record. However, there were no matches.
In March 2022, the remains were submitted to Houston-based Othram, Inc. to undergo genetic genealogy testing. This was funded by the nonprofit Luzerne Foundation.
Othram, Inc. describes itself as "the world's first private DNA laboratory built specifically to apply the power of modern parallel sequencing to forensic evidence."
Soon, Othram provided state police with possible family members of the victim.
These possibilities included family members of Joan Marie Dymond. They provided DNA samples.
State police say the samples were then compared to the DNA profile of the remains found in 2012.
Lab results that were received last month indicated the remains of Jane "Newport" Doe are the remains of Joan Marie Dymond, police say.
"Although Joan Marie Dymond's remains have been identified, PSP is asking for the public's help to find the individual responsible for her death. Anyone with information regarding her disappearance should call the Shickshinny station at 570-542-4117," Pennsylvania State Police said.