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Identity of 1969 ‘Trunk Lady’ Strangled to Death in Florida Determined by Police

Trunk Lady Found in Florida [Photo: NBC News]
Trunk Lady Found in Florida [Photo: NBC News]

In 1969, a woman dubbed as the “Trunk Lady” was discovered dead inside a trunk left in a field in Florida. Fifty-four years later, the St. Petersburg Police Department determined the victim’s identity as Sylvia June Atherton of Arizona.

Trunk Lady Found in Florida [Photo: CNN]

Trunk Lady Found in Florida [Photo: CNN]

On October 31, 1969, a woman’s dead body was discovered wrapped in plastic inside a trunk left on a field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Witnesses claimed that they saw two men arrive in a pickup truck and leave the trunk on the field before driving away.

According to Winsor, the remains of the “Trunk Lady” was buried in a local cemetery as a ‘Jane Doe’. In 2010, authorities dug the body to try to obtain a DNA sample. However, the remains were reportedly too decayed, therefore, the case went cold.

Fortunately, in late 2022 and early 2023, detectives revived the case and discovered a hair sample that was still not tested. After sending the sample to a private laboratory, they were able to produce a DNA profile that was run through a genealogy database. Eventually, the authorities were able to determine the identity of the “Trunk Lady” as Sylvia June Atherton, then 41, of Tucson, Arizona.

READ ALSO: 1976 Cold Case Kidnapping Of Cynthia Dawn Kinney Reopens, Serial Killer BTK Interrogated Again

Life of the “Trunk Lady”

According to McShane, the detectives discovered that the “Trunk Lady” had left five children who appeared to have no connections in St. Petersburg. However, before her death, Atherton reportedly left Tucson with her children and took two of them to Chicago to her ex-husband.

Unfortunately, St. Petersburg Police Department’s Assistant Chief Mike Kovacsev states that they do not have the answer to who killed the “Trunk Lady” yet. To date, detectives state that they only know that the trunk belonged to Atherton. Furthermore, they learned that Atherton remarried but her husband never reported her disappearance.

READ ALSO: Newsbreak: Advanced DNA Testing Solves Decades-Old Cold Case Murder Of Michigan Teen, Uncovering Shocking Suspect Identity

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