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Merrybeth Hodgkinson Identified As Jane Doe Found Buried Behind Bensalem Diner In 1995, Police Say

BENSALEM, Pa. (CBS) – We have an update to a CBS3 Mysteries case that we told you about in June. There's been a major new development in a Bucks County cold case that's nearly three decades old. 

A 30-year-old mystery is has been solved in Bucks County. The name of the long-unidentified Jane Doe found buried behind a Bensalem diner in 1995 is Merrybeth Hodgkinson.

She was identified publicly for the first time on Tuesday morning.

"We've been able to identify Jane Doe as Merrybeth Hodgkinson, of Warminster," Public Safety Director Fred Harran said.

Police had only sparse clues, just what she was wearing. Det. Chris McMullin revived the case in 2004 when her body was exhumed.

DNA was recovered and processed, but her name eluded detectives.

"When we exhumed her body, there was an unknown grave marker with the name Jane Doe," McMullin said. "Now when she's returned to her family, they can put Merrybeth Hodgkinson on it."

CBS3 Mysteries profiled this case back in June 2021. Police say their break was the combination of DNA profiling and genealogical mapping.

"The family tree had led to a hit on GEDmatch, which led us to a brother and a sister," McMullin said.

Police say Hodgkinson's siblings still live in Warminster. Nobody answered when CBS3 stopped by.

Hodgkinson graduated from William Tennet High School, frequented Northeast Philadelphia and was an exotic dancer.

It's believed she had at least one child from her autopsy report.

Now the investigation shifts to who killed Hodgkinson.

Police are asking the public for help.

"Aside from our family, there has to be other people in her group wondering where she was at, that's what I'm looking for," McMullin said.

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