Woman believed to be 1973 Pennsylvania homicide victim found alive and well

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UNION TOWNSHIP, Pa. – A young runaway who police believed was the victim of a homicide four decades ago has been found alive 42 years later, and now state police are asking for help in identifying Jane Doe.

For years, police suspected the case was a homicide, and believed that the unidentified victim was likely Betsy Langjahr, a teen who ran away from a nearby group home.


Pennsylvania State Police created this bust in an effort to identify a 1973 Jane Doe after finding out the woman they believed to be the victim is actually alive. (FOX43)

On Friday, Pennsylvania State Police held a news conference in hopes of finding a break in the 1973 case.  After receiving multiple tips, police announced Tuesday that they had found  Betsy Langjahr — very much alive, according to the Lebanon Daily News.  Police wouldn’t say where she lives now.

The case began on October 10, 1973 when a game warden found a female’s nude, decomposing body in a wooded area underneath a tarp off Moonshine Road at the intersection of Ridge Road and Tomstown Road in Union Township.

The woman, who appeared to be 16 and 20 years old, died between one and three weeks before the grisly discovery, according to police.

Trooper Nathan Trate, who took over the case in 1995, suspected that Jane Doe might have been one of four teens who ran away from a Jonestown home for troubled youths, Talbot Hall.  The building now houses the Jonestown American Legion after Talbot Hall was closed in 1980.

Trate said he was able to immediately rule out three of the teens, but could never confirm that the body didn’t belong to Langjahr — until now.

Trate, a father of three, told the paper he thinks about the victim everyday.

Trate is asking anyone with information to call (717) 865-3647 or email ntrate@pa.gov.

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