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Remains of recently identified 'Jane Doe' returned to family on Navajo Nation 36 years after unsolved death

International Missing Persons Wiki

A Diné woman previously identified as a ‘Jane Doe’ after her unsolved death 36 years ago has been returned to her family on the Navajo Nation.

Christine Lester was 24-years-old in 1987 when she told her family she was going to hitchhike from Indian Wells to the Flagstaff mall to buy gifts for Mother's Day. Her body was later found along the side of a rural road near Fresno, California.

Lester was buried as an unidentified person until her exhumation in 2020 to create a DNA profile that authorities were able to match to one of her siblings earlier this year. Authorities haven’t publicly disclosed the cause of death, citing the ongoing investigation.

The Navajo-Hopi Observer reports Lester was returned to her family in Tó Hadadleeh and buried alongside her mother and grandmother, who never stopped looking for her. Lester was a graduate of Tuba City High School and was studying to be a nurse at Haskell University when she disappeared.