US News:More than 50 years after she vanished, cops ID remains of missing New Jersey teen

Authorities have announced the identification of the remains belonging to a 16-year-old girl from North Jersey who vanished a day after Easter 50 years ago. Still unresolved in the cold case, however, is the cause of death.

Following the April 1972 disappearance of Nancy Carol Fitzgerald, of Bloomfield, skeletal remains were recovered in December 1988 in Atlantic Highlands during a community clean-up event near the Henry Hudson Bike Trail.

A state forensic anthropologist found that the bones had belonged to a young white female, between the ages of 15 and 18, who had probably died sometime around the mid-1970s, but law enforcement was unable to confirm an identity.

In the 1990s, investigators managed to get a DNA profile from the remains in another effort to identify them, with no success.

Then two years ago, officers with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office contacted Virginia-based DNA analysis firm, Bode Technology, for a forensic genealogical review of the remains using advanced technology.

A distant relative in Georgia was confirmed, whose submission of family DNA led to a key identification: a woman in Pennsylvania believed to be the younger sister of the unidentified teen.

Last month, that woman’s own DNA sample returned a nearly 100% probability of an immediate family connection.

A new review by the Middlesex Regional Medical Examiner’s Office was then able to identify the remains as those of Fitzgerald.

Her surviving relatives were notified and are being given the remains for burial.

Read More: 50 year NJ teen cold case solved with remains DNA family tracing |

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