Who is the Lady of the Dunes?

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May 6, 2010, 9:47 pm
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(NECN: Scot Yount) - Police on Cape Cod hope new picture will help them solve one of the state's most famous unsolved murders.

It was 1974 when a woman's body was found on the Cape Cod National Seashore. She has become known as the "Lady of the Dunes".

Chief Jeff Jaran/Provincetown Police: "Here she is….right here."

"Famous case that has been sitting in our evidence room unsolved."

It is perhaps cape cod's most famous cold case, reopened with hopes that the latest technology will solve a murder now nearly 36 years old. 

Nobody has ever been arrested, and the victim a woman who was in her thirties has never been identified.

Chief Jeff Jaran/Provincetown Police: "Probably our last chance in doing something like this with her."

 She is buried here in the Provincetown Cemetery with a headstone containing only the scant details of her death. 

Provincetown Police Chief Jeff Jaran has poured over the mountains of evidence….and now has this…a composite of the murder victim, constructed from her skull at the lab of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Chief Jeff Jaran/Provincetown Police: "I brought it down for a lot of people to examine to take a look to see if they could utilize it to come up with this latest composite of our lady in the dunes.

At the Provincetown Public Library the local newspaper, The Advocate, tells a gruesome tale…a woman murdered out here in the Dunes at Race point….she had been dead at least a week.  They thought it would be easy to identify her and find her killer investigators said at the time….it was not to be.

By all accounts July 26th, 1974 was a hot sticky day.  A young girl walking her dog on this off road trail found the body of a young woman…she and ultimately investigators could see the woman died of blunt force trauma to the head…but curiously, her hands had been removed."

Chief Jeff Jaran/Provincetown Police:"Her hands were amputated so there was no way to obtain any fingerprints which was another critical element of the time."

Scot Yount: "And her hands have never been found?"

Chief Jeff Jaran/Provincetown Police: "Her hands have never been found."

Flyer Santos/Former Town Manager: "Everybody was upset, I can't tell you any more than that."

Flyer Santos is approaching his 96th birthday.  He remembers the case well and the chilling effect it had on the town.

Flyer Santos/Former Town Manager: "That poor soul when they found her they cut her arms off an everything else, but the new group doing they have a new type of science and they showed the pictures yesterday and they are bring out a real face that is necessary."

Chief Jeff Jaran/Provincetown Police: "Very beautiful woman she kept herself by anthropologists terms she kept herself very fit."

Police are hopeful the new image combined with the power of the internet to reach around the globe will solve the mystery..who is the lady of the dunes.

Chief Jeff Jaran/Provincetown Police: "It is hard to believe somewhere somebody doesn't miss this woman."

Tags: Cape Cod, Scot Yount, provincetown, Lady of the Dunes
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