Remains of woman found injured in Georgia ditch identified 37 years later as missing mother

BAKER COUNTY, Ga. — The remains of a woman who died 37 years ago in rural Georgia have been identified as a missing Florida mother.

The woman, identified as Mary Anga Cowan, was found injured and unconscious by a passerby on Georgia Highway 91 near Newton on May 14, 1985. She died of a subdural hematoma on June 1, 1985. The Georgia Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Cowan suffered from blunt force trauma to the head.

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The M.E. was not able to determine the manner of Cowan’s death.

Cowan’s remains were exhumed in 2012 and officials recovered a sample bone fragment, but a private lab couldn’t find a DNA match. In March 2022, the GBI partnered with the FBI to complete a genealogical analysis on the remains.

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In Oct. 2022, researchers developed a DNA profile, which they were able to match to one of Cowan’s children.

The GBI did not say if they believe that Cowan was a victim of foul play or why she was in Georgia.

It’s unclear if the GBI is searching for any suspects in Cowan’s death.

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