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Skeletal remains found stuffed inside a suitcase along a Georgia highway in 2016 were recently identified as those of a Pennsylvania woman who had been reported missing in 2014, authorities said Friday.
Police identified the woman as Jessica Ashley Manchini, who was believed to be 29 when she died, Gwinnett County, Ga., authorities said in a statement.
Detectives were able to identify the woman by using a new type of technology that allowed them to read faded ink on a tag attached to the suitcase, authorities said.
Manchini was originally from Pennsylvania but resided in Georgia during the final few years of her life, according to police. Her mother, who still lives in Pennsylvania, had reported Manchini missing in December 2014, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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The remains were found in a suitcase discarded in a wooded area along Interstate 985 on July 29, 2016, the Gwinnett Daily Post reported. Authorities previously said they believed the woman died in early 2016 based on the decomposition of her body.
From the left: A released photo of Jessica Ashley Manchini, who police identified as the woman whose remains were found stuffed in a suitcase along a Georgia highway three years ago. Police released a forensic illustration in 2016 of what the woman might have looked like based on the remains.
According to authorities, the new technology revealed a partial name and a Pennsylvania address on the suitcase. Manchini's identity was then confirmed using dental and medical records.
Detectives initially used a lighting test to try to lift writing from the faded blue ink on the tag in 2016 but were unsuccessful. Police released a forensic sketch of what the woman was believed to look like as well as an image of the type of clothing found with the remains.
An initial examination of the skeleton showed that the woman had a fusion in her spine and suffered from scoliosis, Gwinnett County Medical Examiner Dr. Carol Terry told the Gwinnett Daily Post. Manchini’s mother confirmed to detectives that her daughter had undergone back surgery for her spinal condition.
The cause of death is still under investigation. Because the woman’s body was already mostly bone when it was found, there was no way to see signs of possible trauma on her flesh, the medical examiner said. The remains did not show signs of recent fractures or broken bones.
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Anyone with information about what happened to Manchini is asked to call detectives at 770-513-5300 or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477. They can also visit www.stopcrimeATL.com, the Journal-Constitution reported.
Police are looking for details about who knew Manchini and what was going on in her life before she died. Tips can anonymous, and information that leads to an arrest and indictment can earn tipsters up to $2,000.
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