April 24, 1981
Three young men were walking on Greenlee Road in Newton Township, Troy, Ohio ... when one of them, Greg, spotted a pit along the road. There was a cloak made of deerskin in the pit. Curious, he jumped into the pit and tried to lift the robe. And all of a sudden he was startled and shouted. "Oh my God ... there's a woman in that robe". That woman was lying like a bundle and there was no sign of life in her. The three youths immediately informed the police.
An autopsy was conducted on the body in the afternoon. A medical examination revealed that the woman had multiple wounds on her neck and head.
She was strangled 48 hours before her body was discovered. But no evidence of sexual brutality was found.
The woman's height was between five and five and a half feet, while her age was estimated at between eighteen and twenty-six. And it weighed 125–130 pounds.
She had naturally reddish-brown hair, parting from the middle and tied in long braids on either side of her head.
Her size was the best in terms of age. That is, she adhered to the principles of hygiene. But there were scars on various parts of her body.
Nothing was found in her clothing or at the scene that provided information about her identity.
Since the body was discovered 48 hours after her death, police have been able to retrieve the information from her fingerprints and teeth. But no missing person or person with a criminal record has been identified. Police had no record of her fingerprints. Police immediately made a drawing of her face and published it in various newspapers. The news was also broadcast on local television. But all this was to no avail and no one came forward claiming to know the woman.
Gradually, the woman became known as the "Buckskin Girl." Because when the body was found, it was covered with deerskin. The investigation into her murder was a later matter, there was no news about her identity. According to investigators, she was killed far away from her hometown, making it difficult to identify her.
She had no shoes or socks on her feet when her body was found. But still, her feet were clean. It was proof that she had been killed elsewhere and that her body had been dumped here. Police have speculated that she may have run away from home and fallen into the hands of a sex killer! But this theory was rejected because the medical examination did not show any signs of sexual abuse.
The "Buckskin Girl Case" slowly cooled down. Although police and other officials continued the investigation. In addition to her clothing and other evidence found at the scene, her blood sample was preserved.
Her body was found lying on the town road instead of the main road, which indicated that she was not a hippie.
Investigators also linked the Buckskin Girl murder too many other crimes of the time. In 1985, investigators temporarily linked the Buckskin Girl murder to a nationwide series of murders of Caucasian women. Many of those killed included sex workers and erotic dancers. These incidents are known as "Red Head Murders". However, this theory was eventually rejected.
Some investigators also speculated that Buckskin Girl was one of the young women killed by an unknown serial killer between 1985 and 2004. Most of the women killed were strangled and their jewelry was taken off after the killing. Since Buckskin Girl was also strangled to death and her shoes and jewelry were not found at the scene .... so she was also considered a victim of the same serial killer.
In 1991, a newly formed task force met in London, Ohio. The task force was set up to investigate unresolved attacks in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.
The force consisted of more than a dozen personnel.
Due to advances in technology and the increasing use of DNA analysis in criminal investigations, investigators were able to extract the DNA of a woman who died in 1981 from a safe blood sample. This DNA sample was added to the official database.
In 2001, the Miami Valley Regional Crime Laboratory generated a DNA profile of Buckskin Girl, [l this data was entered into the newly established National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) database in 2008, through which her fingerprints, dental and DNA information were made nationally accessible to law enforcement. This data was able to conclusively rule out any possibility of 226 missing teenage girls and young women as Buckskin Girl. In 2009, a mitochondrial DNA sample was submitted to the FBI for inclusion within the Combined DNA Index System.
The following year, the NamUs case management of Buckskin Girl was assigned to Dr. Elizabeth Murray, a Cincinnati based forensic anthropologist and professor of biology, who remained active in her pursuit of the decedent's identity.
In April 2016, the National Center for Missing Persons uploaded a forensic facial reconstruction website.
In 2016, the Miami County Police Department approved forensic palynology tests in an effort to identify the victim's clothing and her killer. The investigation was conducted by the US Customs and Border Protection Agency. The test results show that Buckskin Girl was born in northern Mexico, or spent some time in the region a year before her assassination.
On April 9, 2018, the Miami Valley Crime Laboratory announced they had identified the decedent as 21-year-old Marcia Lenore King of Little Rock, Arkansas. Her identification was achieved via DNA analysis conducted by the DNA Doe Project, with assistance from the Miami Valley Regional Crime Laboratory. This organization had been contacted by Dr. Murray in 2017 and was able to successfully match a sample of King's DNA to a sample submitted for comparison by a first cousin. Her family declined to release a press statement, requesting that their confidentiality be respected.
Marcia was last seen by her family in 1980. They never filed an official report of her disappearance, but continued to search for her on their own.
A spokesman for the police department told the media after the formal identification of the Buckskin girl:
"Law enforcement never forgets anything, it is a long journey to the destination we have reached today. Marcia King has been identified and her murder is being investigated. We have focused more on the last month of her life as she traveled between Pittsburgh and Louisville"
Speaking to the media at the February 2020 base, the Miami sheriff said he had received information about the whereabouts of the Buckskin girl two weeks before she was killed. The test will be conducted through NA technology, which may result in information about a possible killer. He further said that the police department has always been a supporter of justice. He said that they would not forget the murder case until it was resolved. And do you know that thanks to modern technology they can reach the killer very quickly?
And a very sad reality, Marcia's mother was found living in the same house with the same phone number in hopes that her daughter might return one day.