ATLANTA (CBS46) — Unidentified remains found in 1982 in the woods near Stone Mountain have finally been identified, according to Gwinnett Police.
A female skull was found off Deshong Drive. At the time, it was believed that the remains had been there for 6 to 10 years.
Recently, a woman named Janis Adams submitted her DNA to a law enforcement database.
Adams had spent her entire life up wondering what happened to her mother, who disappeared in the early 1970s. She did not know if her mother had abandoned her as an infant or had been murdered.
"it was always a question in the back of my mind," said Adams. "We were always told that our mother left us at Piedmont Park. She just went with some guy. No one knew what happened."
Her father, uncle and brother also had no knowledge of the missing woman.
In March 2021, Det. Dorminy with Gwinnett Homicide Unit shipped the skull to Othram Labs to have them generate a DNA profile. The Texas-based testing lab specializes in forensic grade genome sequencing.
"We basically tease out the human part of the evidence, clean up and kind of repair enough of the DNA fragments such that we can then read them and produce a profile," David Mittelman, Othram's CEO, explained.
That profile was then matched with Adams, who identified her mother as Marlene Standridge.
On Aug. 25, Adams met with officers at police headquarters to speak with Det. Dorminy. A sample was obtained from Adams at that time.
In September, Othram Labs confirmed that the DNA matched.
"I wish it was under different circumstances, but getting that closure just means so much to me," Adams said. "I hope that no one has to ever go through this."
The police department is still trying to solve the mystery behind the skull. If anyone has information or knew Marlene Standridge, contact GCPD detectives at 770-513-5300. To remain anonymous, tipsters should contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.stopcrimeATL.com.