Cal. Police Close in on I.D. of Female Murder Victim in 40-Year-Old Cold Case

Police sketch of 1968 murder victim. (CBS/KCAL)
California Police Close to Identifying Woman Murdered in 40-Year-Old Cold Case
Police sketch of 1968 murder victim. (CBS/KCAL)

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (CBS/KCAL/AP) Detectives from the Huntington Beach Police Department believe they are another step closer to solving the cold case murder mystery of a woman whose body was found in a ditch more than 40 years ago.

Police said Sunday that the victim who for decades was known as "Jane Doe" was identified as "Rosie" by a Los Angeles County resident who recognized the person in the police sketch.

"She said she had a friend back in Long Beach around 1968 by the name of 'Rosie.' She doesn't remember her last name, but it was an Italian surname," Lt. Russ Reinhart told CBS affiliate KCAL. "'Rosie' was about 26-years-old and worked as a waitress at a bar called The Circus Room in downtown Long Beach."

The witness explained that "Rosie" had moved from New York to Long Beach sometime in 1967. She met "Rosie" at the bar where she worked, but then in March of 1968 her friend vanished.

"Based on the information she gave us, we [the police] showed her the autopsy photos of 'Jane Doe' and she is confident that it is her friend [Rosie]," Lt. Reinhart told KCAL.

Police are still looking into other options; however, they believe this is a credible lead and are investigating it further.

Based on the witness's story, "Rosie" could have been from the Bronx or Brooklyn, and she could have had a son nicknamed "John-John," as well as an ex-husband and two brothers, says KCAL.

Police have circulated a sketch of the victim throughout New York City and have also sent information to upstate New York's Tioga County.