Investigators said they believe the body belongs to a 30-year-old woman from the Kent / Ravenna area
by: Joe Gorman
Posted: Mar 18, 2021 / 2:23 PM EDT
Updated: March 18, 2021 / 2:52 p.m. EDT
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown Police Department and Mahoning County’s Coroner Bureau investigators believe they know the identity of a woman whose unidentified remains were found in 1995.
After this A February 24 story on WKBN First News and on wkbn.com stated that authorities were searching for a woman’s identity found in an apartment on Otis Street, Detective Sgt. Dave Sweeney, who handles missing persons cases for the department, said he and investigator Theresa Gaetano of the coroner’s office received calls from people saying the woman was America F. Williams, who was around 30 when she went missing.
Williams, who was from the Ravenna and Kent areas, had a family in Youngstown, Gaetano said. She was reported missing by her mother in September 1996, almost a year after the body was found on Otis Street, Sweeney said.
Williams’ car was also found somewhere on the north side in 1996, Gaetano said.
“We think we have a very good lead,” said Gaetano.
Investigators weren’t very busy, so they went public for help.
The body was found on October 31, 1995 by maintenance personnel from the Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority. It was a white woman’s body, about 5’2 ” and 110 pounds, that was badly decomposed.
Investigators can use a dental map of the victim’s teeth to identify her, but her body was too decomposed to obtain a DNA sample. Sweeney took a DNA sample from a family member in case the technology should improve in the future, but Gaetano said she is now looking for someone who may have access to Williams’ dental records.
The woman wore Levi’s five-pocket jeans with a 28-inch waist and 32-inch inseam. She wore a blue short-sleeved shirt that read “Golden Age Games, Sanford, Florida” on the front in yellow letters on the front. She also wore white and black Nike Air Jordan high-top shoes, size 8, and white tube socks with green stripes, and a black sweater with buttons and a blue and gray striped swirl pattern.
The home she was found in was reportedly “in disarray”. There were drug paraphernalia near the body. Sweeney said the person found in the apartment is not believed to have died from a bad game.
A cause of death could not be determined due to the decomposition of the body.
One thing Sweeney is looking for is anyone who has a photo of Williams with the clothes that were on the body when it was found.
Anyone with information on the case can call Sweeney at 330-742-8911 or Gaetano at 330-740-2175. 7310.
Sweeney and Gaetano are also trying to identify the body of a man who was recovered from the Mahoning River on June 29, 1980, but they had no leads in the case.
The man is described as a 5’8 “white male, 50 to 55 years old, with brown hair and brown eyes. A death certificate listed drowning as the cause of death, but an autopsy was never performed.
The date the man drowned could not be determined, but it is not believed that he was in the river for very long, newspaper reports said at the time.
Authorities could not use fingerprints to identify the man as they were unusable, Gaetano said.