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Woman identified in Fairfax County cold case after almost 29 years

Detectives are asking for the public's help to solve her murder. If you knew her, talking to the police department could help with the investigation.

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — A woman was found dead in 1993 near the base of a tree in Centreville and now, almost 29 years later, police have uncovered her identity.

The Fairfax County Police Department identified Sharon Kay Abbott Lane on Nov. 21 as the victim in a cold case that dates back to Dec. 6, 1993. Her skeletal remains were found in a wooded area on Sharpsburg Drive by landscapers and when detectives arrived they gathered evidence from the scene believed to belong to her. This included jewelry, deteriorated clothing, a red comb and a yellow barrette.  

The medical examiner determined that she had suffered several stab and knife wounds to her upper body and she was believed to be between 28 and 39 years old.

Lane was last heard from around 1987 and was believed to be living in Fairfax County. Around 3 or 4 years later, her late father received an anonymous phone call from a woman stating his daughter was dead. 

Police were able to link Lane to the cold case through advanced DNA testing and forensic-grade genome sequencing provided by Othram Inc. The technology was able to identify a possible family member, contact was made across the country until her immediate family was found. The case reached the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia, leading to a family member that connected the local officers to Sharon’s brother and eventually her children to further confirm her identity. 

“The tragic death of Sharon Kay Abbott Lane is now closer to being solved with the help of advanced DNA testing,” said Major Ed O’Carroll of the Major Crimes, Cyber and Forensics Bureau. “Our detectives will use this new information to continue to seek justice for the victim in this case. We encourage anyone who may have known Sharon or her associates to contact our detectives.”

Detectives continue to ask for help in solving this murder. If you knew Sharon, our detectives would like to hear from you. Tips can be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-8477, and by web.

Watch Next: COLD CASE ARREST: Montgomery Co. Police announce arrest in murder of deputy sheriff after 51 years

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