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Sister Of Victim In Cold Case Mystery Is Devastated, But Relieved To Have Some Answers

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- For 53-year old Mary Thompson of Pitcairn, a knock of her door from a state trooper was the first indication that there was something she should know.

It was a cold case investigator telling her what she had suspected.

DNA tests officially confirmed that a body exhumed from a pauper's grave last year was that of her sister, Teala Thompson, who had disappeared in 1967 from their home in Pittsburgh while walking to school.

Teala was 13-years-old at the time. Mary was 4.

The teenager's body was buried in the pauper's grave in Westmoreland County because she was never positively identified by her mother.

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Mary said her mother, who died in 2005, always felt that her missing daughter would someday return home. That's why she refused to go to the morgue to identify the remains.

"I'm relieved. I'm glad I know, but I just feel so bad. What she had to go through, and what she went through, how long it took to finally find her," Mary told KDKA-TV's Ralph Iannotti.

Mary said she didn't remember doing things with her sister, but she did remember her in the house, but it was always covered up.

The lead investigator in the case, State Police Trooper Brian Gross, who is retiring in two weeks, said he had mixed feelings.

"You have to deliver a message to a family that their loved one is deceased, but for 48 years, nobody knew who this young girl really was. Now, we know," Trooper Gross said.

Thompson wants to give her sister a proper funeral and burial, but she says it's something she can't afford right now.

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