Remains of woman found in NC that no one knew was missing identified after 33 years: Lisa Kesler

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Thursday, September 28, 2023
Woman identified in 33-year-old NC cold case after body found in 1990
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The Georgia woman's body was found in 1990 along I-40 East near the New Hope Church Road exit.

ORANGE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- The identity of a Georgia woman who was murdered 33 years ago has been released.

The Orange County Sherriff's Office announced Wednesday that they identified the remains of a woman found killed in 1990 as 20-year-old Lisa Coburn Kesler of Georgia.

Kesler's body was discovered along I-40 East near the New Hope Church Road exit.

Investigators in 1990 created a bust of Lisa Kesler by applying forensic facial reconstruction techniques to a model of her skull.

Investigators spent years trying to identify the woman using software to reconstruct what she may have looked like. In 2018, they released a digital illustration of Kesler.

2017 and 2018 digital illustrations of Lisa Kesler

"Throughout the decades, some of our finest investigators kept plugging away. When you can't close a case, it gets under your skin. You might set the file aside for a while, but you keep coming back to it, looking to see something you didn't notice before, or hoping information gathered in ensuing cases has relevance to your cold case. Investigators also monitor new techniques and technologies in the field, which is what eventually led to the breakthrough in Ms. Kesler's case," Sheriff Blackwood said in a release.

Investigators believe Kesler was strangled by her killer and then her body was dumped.

According to the Sheriff's Office, her family did not know she was missing.

Kesler's case is not closed. Officials are hoping to find her killer through DNA.