Authorities identify 'Grace Doe' found in 1990 in Missouri

Associated Press

ANDERSON, Mo. (AP) — A woman who was named "Grace Doe" after her remains were found in 1990 in southwest Missouri has been identified, McDonald County authorities announced Wednesday.

Investigators and forensic science identified the remains as Shawna Beth Garber, 53, formerly of Kansas.

Her body was found on Dec. 2, 1990 in farmland in McDonald County. An autopsy determined she was raped and strangled about two months before the discovery.

In September 2020, the remains were sent to Othram, a forensics company, which extracted DNA and built a profile to find distant relatives, the sheriff's office said in a news release.

In January, Othram notified the McDonald County sheriff's office that possible relatives had been located. 

A detective eventually located Danielle Pixler, who said she had a half-sister named Shawna Garber who had been in foster care in Garnett, Kansas, before going back into state care. Pixler said she didn't know what had happened to Garber after she left foster care.

Pixler donated DNA in February. Othram notified the McDonald County sheriff's office on Monday that Pixler's DNA was a match as a half-sibling for "Grace Doe." 

The sheriff's office said it will try to trace Garber's movements before her death to determine what happened to her.