A construction crew working near an apartment complex in McLean in September 2001 were shocked when they stumbled upon the skeletal remains and tattered clothing of a woman.
Fairfax County police arrived on scene shortly after and determined the woman had died years earlier from a gunshot wound to the head. But for more than two decades, her identity remained a mystery — until now.
Partnering with the Texas-based genetics company Othram, Inc., Fairfax County Cold Case detectives used advanced genome sequencing, DNA testing, and genealogy technology to determine the remains were that of Patricia Agnes Gildawie, the department announced.
Body identified as teen who went missing in 1975. https://t.co/hndA5FxdTg #FCPD pic.twitter.com/NpV2aazxgr— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) September 26, 2022
Gildawie, also known as “Choubi,” was last seen alive on February 8, 1975, a half-sister, who was located using Othram’s advanced tech, told detectives.
Born in France in 1958, Gildawie arrived in the U.S. as an infant, eventually moving to the City of Fairfax in the early 1970s, the police report said. At 17, she began dating an older man just prior to her disappearance. The circumstances will continue to be investigated as new information becomes available, Ed O’Carroll, bureau commander of Fairfax County’s Major Crimes and Cyber and Forensics department, said in the release.
“Identifying this young woman solves a mystery that has been more than 47 years in the making,” O’Carroll said. “Our community should take comfort in knowing that our detectives never stop working these cases. Advancements in technology have given my Cold Case detectives an opportunity to pursue fresh leads and bring some relief to families that have been long suffering with the unknown.”
Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to submit tips, which can be done anonymously, via the Fairfax Crime Solvers website or by calling 1-866-411-8477.
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