News53-year-old Florida Halloween murder mystery unravelled: Victim identified as Sylvia Atherton from Texas

53‑year-old Florida Halloween murder mystery unravelled: Victim identified as Sylvia Atherton from Texas

Over 50 years ago, Sylvia Atherton was found dead. However, her loved ones had no idea about it.
Over 50 years ago, Sylvia Atherton was found dead. However, her loved ones had no idea about it.
Images source: © St. Petersburg Police Department
10:23 AM EST, January 15, 2024

According to the New York Post, the body was discovered on Halloween night, October 31, 1969. The woman had been brutally murdered with a large plastic bag on her head bearing the marks of a violent attack. Strangulation was declared as the cause of death after an autopsy.

Identification of the 53-year-old body reveals the victim

The autopsy indicated strangulation, with a tie being used as the murder weapon. Despite the efforts, the identity of the murdered woman remained unknown. The awaited breakthrough finally came after 53 years.

Florida's state investigators gave an official statement on the 53-year-old case. They identified the woman as Sylvia Atherton. Her remains were denominated as "Jane Doe" until her exhumation.

The deceased was identified due to crucial witness testimonies. The police got in touch with two men who were present at the time of the henious crime. These men claimed they witnessed the body's abandonment by the suspected killers. The further probe revealed that the victim had no prior connections with Florida.

The witnesses claimed to have seen the alleged murderers stowing the body in the trunk of a car. But this was not the end of the gathered evidence - the exhumation of Sylvia's body provided enough material for conducting DNA tests.

Furthermore, a comparison of samples from Sylvia Atherton's daughter and "Jane Doe", revealed that the deceased was a missing Texas resident. Astonishingly, Atherton's children had never heard of the body in the trunk mystery before.

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