EAST HAMPTON, Conn. (WTNH) — More than 40 years later, authorities have finally solved the case of a Jane Doe found dead in Massachusetts.

Patricia Coleman’s remains were discovered in November 1978 underneath leaves on a logging road in Granby, Massachusetts, according to Northwestern District Attorney David. Sullivan. Coleman was also known as Patricia Ann Tucker, Patricia Heckman and Patricia Dale.

“Unsolved cases sometimes seem to go cold, but investigators never give up,” Sullivan said in a written announcement. “The Massachusetts State Police, Granby Police and Northwestern District
Attorney’s staff worked collaboratively for years to achieve this breakthrough in the investigation, and — most importantly — provide some answers to victim’s family.”

Her remains have been in a Granby cemetery underneath a headstone naming her as “Unknown.” While DNA has identified her, her killer has not been named.

“This breakthrough became possible through a combination of old-fashioned police work and some recent advances in forensic genetic genealogy,” Steve Gagny, the first assistant district attorney for the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, said.

She was killed by a shot to the head, according to officials.

Prior to her identification, all authorities knew is that she was killed in June 1978 and was between the ages of 19 and 27 years old.

Then, the private forensic laboratory Othram became involved two years ago. It used her DNA and forensic genetic genealogy to find a woman from Maryland who was related to Coleman. The relative then connected authorities to Coleman’s adult son, who was 5 when his mother disappeared.

“First I would like to say thank you to everyone in trying to identify my mother and wrapping your arms around her, especially the community of Granby,” her son Matthew Dale said in a written statement. “Thank you for never giving up on her. At least I have some answers now after 44 years. It’s a lot to process, but hopefully, the closure can begin now. Thank you again.”

She was married to Gerald Coleman at the time, and lived in East Hampton when she disappeared. Coleman dropped Dale off at a babysitter’s home, but never returned with his wife.

Authorities said that Gerald Coleman, who died as a person of interest in the case in a Massachusetts prison in 1996, never reported her missing. He was serving a sentence for rape and assault.

“She’s no longer a unknown person,” Adam Dawidowicz said. “She’s given a proper burial so that they’ve got at least something to visit or memorialize her.”

For those in East Hampton, it’s helped the community find closure.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Granby police at (413) 467-9222, email jwhite@granbypd.org or send a message through granbypd.org.