Mississippi woman identified 44 years after murder, likely serial killer
Clara Birdlong said she was leaving Mississippi with a man for Florida in 1977, a friend told Jackson County Sheriff’s Department investigators last August. Her family never heard from her again.
Despite a composite sketch of what she might have looked like, she remained a “Jane Doe” for decades, FOX 10 reported in Mobile, Alabama.
Birdlong was identified this month, nearly 44 years after his murder, presumably at the hands of Samuel Little, a prolific serial killer who confessed two years ago to killing 93 women, including one in 1977 who the investigators, was Birdlong. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2014 for three more murders and died last year.
MURDER OF A 15 YEAR OLD GIRL FOUND HANDLED IN HER HOME 20 YEARS AGO
“Fortunately, we were able to find a lady up there (County Leflore) who remembered Clara from her youth and was able to provide us with information she remembered when Clara left town, disappeared and they didn’t. never heard from her again, ”investigator Matt Hoggatt told WLOX-TV in Biloxi. “If you look at the time period that this happened, it really ties in with Sam Little’s travels and where we know he was committing murders in the mid to late 1970s.”
Investigators identified Birdlong using DNA evidence and a family tree created by a Texas DNA research center. Her 93-year-old grandmother and cousin living in Texas also confirmed that she went missing in the 1970s.
“The reason this case wasn’t resolved 44 years ago isn’t because investigators didn’t put in the effort, they just didn’t have 44 years of technology they didn’t even know about. existence, ”Hoggatt told WLOX. “Over the years, dedicated people have worked on this matter.”
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Her body was found three or four months after her murder at a construction site in Pascagoula, Mississippi, in 1977. Little was arrested for theft in the same town a few months before her murder. His cause of death remains undetermined, according to FOX 10.