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Torso Found Off Benicia Shoreline In 1979 Identified As Woodland Woman

BENICIA (CBS13) – A torso found off the Benicia shoreline in 1979 was identified as a Woodland woman who went missing from her home in the middle of the night, the Benicia Police Department announced on Thursday.

On the night of July 31, 1979, Dolores Wulff vanished from her home and her husband was looked at as the prime suspect, the police department said.

Dolores Wulff
Photo of Dolores Wulff courtesy of the Benicia Police Department

Wulff was part of a group of 11 women who went missing that year that the department was looking into after the case into the torso was reopened three months ago. The group of missing women was from around the Sacramento and San Francisco areas, and Wulff was ultimately the only one that stood out, investigators said.

Wulff's husband eventually had his case dismissed due to a lack of evidence and he died in 2005, but the couple left behind four kids – one of whom police said allowed a DNA swab to be done to see if there was a potential match.

While collaborating with the Yolo County Sheriff's Office, the DNA swab sent in to a Department of Justice DNA lab confirmed that the femur bone from the torso belonged to Wulff, Benicia police said.

"We are so glad to be able to bring a sort of closure to the Wulff family after decades of uncertainty," Interim Chief of Police Mike Greene said. "I am also proud of Sgt. Hart and his team's tenacity on this case."

Benicia police said the Wulff family and friends never stopped searching for answers through the years.

Yolo County Sheriff Tom Lopez said:

"This case has haunted my office and, in fact, all of Yolo County since 1979. Countless hours were spent investigating Dolores Wullf's disappearance. It is my hope that this provides some closure to the family who has suffered so much. I am grateful for the dedication and professionalism of our law enforcement community who made this identification possible, including the members of the Benicia Police Department for their incredible efforts."

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