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Remains of teen missing since 1969 identified almost a decade after they were found

What happened to Joan Marie Dymond, who was 14 when she disappeared from a Wilkes-Barre park in June 1969, remains unsolved.
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Human remains found in Pennsylvania almost a decade ago have been identified as those of a 14-year-old girl who disappeared in 1969, state police said Tuesday.

The remains of Joan Marie Dymond, who disappeared from a park in Wilkes-Barre on June 25, 1969, were found in 2012 but were only recently identified, police said.

“We never stopped pursuing answers, and this investigation remains very active,” Capt. Patrick Dougherty, commanding officer for Pennsylvania State Police Troop P, said in a statement.

Joan Marie Dymond.
Joan Marie Dymond.National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Genetic genealogy testing led to the identification announced Tuesday, state police said.

The remains were found in November 2012 on the grounds of a former coal-mining operation in Newport Township, west of Wilkes-Barre, police said.

The people who found them were “digging for relics in a trash-filled depression in the ground” at the time, state police said.

Investigators determined that the person died of suspicious or "foul play" circumstances, police said. The remains were sent for testing to a Texas-based company, Othram Inc., in March, and samples from members of Dymond’s family led to the identification, according to police.

“She was a sweet girl and didn’t deserve what happened to her,” Dymond’s sister Suzanne Estock said at a news conference Tuesday, according to NBC affiliate WBRE of Wilkes-Barre.

The last time Estock spoke to her sister, she was excited because Estock was going to have a child.

“She was excited about being an aunt and me having a baby and coming down to visit,” Estock said, according to video from the station.

Police are still looking for who was responsible for Dymond's death and are asking anyone with information to contact authorities.

"After 53 years, the family of Joan Marie Dymond very much deserves closure. We will do everything in our power to see that they have it," Dougherty, the police captain, said in Tuesday's statement.

Genealogy testing has led to the identification of remains of people who died decades ago — or, in some cases, the people who killed them.

In September, the FBI in Georgia announced that the technology confirmed a now-dead truck driver killed a Michigan woman who had been missing for 33 years. It was called the first known case in which both the victim and the killer had been identified through genealogy technology.