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Police: Body found in 1982 in Texas is missing New London teen

By Greg Smith

Publication: The Day

Published 01/11/2014 12:00 AM
Updated 01/11/2014 11:21 PM
New DNA testing helps identify girl's remains

A homicide victim whose body was discovered in Texas more than 30 years ago has been identified through DNA as a New London girl who went missing in 1982.

Michelle Garvey, 14, was last seen on June 1, 1982, and was believed to have run away from home, possibly traveling to North Carolina or New Jersey, state police said.

Connecticut State police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance, in a statement released Friday, said the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children contacted the state police Missing Person Unit and requested assistance in a criminal investigation.

It turns out that Garvey's body, at the time still unidentified, was found in an open field in Houston on Aug. 1, 1982. Her death was ruled a homicide.

Vance said that without any knowledge of the Connecticut investigation, Texas officials had exhumed the unidentified body in an effort to obtain DNA samples. Connecticut State Police detectives met with Garvey's family members where DNA samples were taken and submitted to the University of North Texas in Fort Worth, Texas, where they made a positive identification of Michelle Garvey.

Garvey's family has been notified of the identification and efforts are being made to have the deceased returned to Connecticut for burial, Vance said.

New London police Deputy Chief Peter Reichard said Garvey is in the department's system but computer files only go to 1987. All old files are housed off site and not immediately available, he said. New London police were not involved in contacting the family, he said. Vance said investigation by the state police Missing Person Unit continues.

g.smith@theday.com

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