Pollen may help Vernon County ID unsolved murder victim from 1984
It’s the kind of thing you might see on a TV show like CSI — a piece of scientific evidence, which could help solve a cold-case murder.
A large amount of a pollen peculiar to the southwest U.S. was found in the clothes of a woman found dead 34 years ago in Vernon County.
Sheriff’s Lt. Scott Bjerkos in Viroqua said that discovery seems to pinpoint where the woman lived, and it probably wasn’t Wisconsin.
“The clothing had such a level of pollens that it was the opinion of the analyst that this person just could not have been passing through the area,” Bjerkos said. “There was high volumes of certain pollens vegetations that could only be grown in the southwest United States.”
The Jane Doe slaying, dating back to 1984, has been publicized frequently by Vernon County in recent years. The handless body of a woman in her 50s or 60s was discovered near Westby, apparently brought to the county from somewhere else.
Bjerkos says figuring out where the victim lived could make it easier to find the killer. He added that having the woman’s body exhumed three years ago for DNA testing also helped police learn more about what she would have looked like.