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Investigators Hope Sweatshirt Helps Identify Body

Investigators are having little luck trying to identify a woman whose remains were found just outside Wilkeson, Wash., last month.

Their only clue is the dark blue Pacific Lutheran University 1994-95 men’s basketball team sweatshirt - one of only 300 made - she was wearing.

“To find out what happened, we have to know the person,” said Pierce County sheriff’s Detective Bob Hoffman.

Investigators are treating the death as a homicide.

An off-duty police officer working for Plum Creek Security found the remains Oct. 12 near the Cascade foothills town. There was no car nearby and no suicide note.

The body may have been in the area for as long as 2-1/2 years.

Forensic anthropologists say the skeleton is that of a woman 30 to 50 years old. She was possibly white, Asian or Native American and was 5-feet-2 to 5-feet-4, Hoffman said.

She’d once suffered a broken right thigh bone and had surgical wire in her lower jaw. Hoffman said that before she was killed, she had 17 teeth with a thin enamel coat, indicating possible bulimia.

She was wearing light-blue, size 7 Union Bay Jeans. Her white Reebok tennis shoes were a woman’s size 5.

Investigators have accounted for about 50 sweatshirts worn by players, coaches, trainers and other staff members. The other 250 sweatshirts were sold to help raise funds, making them difficult to trace, Hoffman said.

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