BOONE COUNTY — The Boone County Sheriff's Office says a 1992 Jane Doe has now been identified as a 17-year-old girl.
Margaret "Maggie" Ann Sniegowski of Toledo, Ohio was found by a farmer at the bottom of a hill near the northbound ramp to I-65 from State Road 47 on May 3, 1992. She was estimated to be between 17 and 22 years old at the time of her death.
Boone County joined with a company that used forensic genetic genealogy and Maggie's DNA to positively identify her. Maggie was one month away from her 18th birthday.
Deputies say multiple attempts were made over several years to ID Maggie, but a positive identification was never able to be made. In February 2021, DNA was extracted from Maggie's remains and through that information and research, a potential brother and sister were located. In January 2022, the two potential siblings were DNA tested and that helped confirm Maggie's identity. The potential match came from one of Maggie's eight siblings submitting their DNA to 23andMe.
"When she told us about it and was showing pictures of my great great grand parents on my dad side I never that it would turn in to this, " said Lenny Sniegowski Maggie's brother.
You can watch the news conference below, which was attended by several people, including members of Maggie's family. They thanked members of the BCSO and called it a happy day.
"It's been 30 years since I've seen Maggie," Leonard Sniegowski, Maggie's older brother, said. "There's hope out there for people who don't know where their family members might be."
Leonard says the farmer found his sister discarded like a piece of trash.
"She's no longer that," Leonard said as he wiped away tears. "She was not trash — she was a beautiful, loving, fun, upbeat person who didn't deserve her fate."
Lenny says it is still unknown if Maggie ran away or was abducted. He described her as outgoing with a great personality and sense of humor.
Sheriff Mike Nielsen says the case now moves to a homicide investigation and they are working to find who killed Maggie.
"The way the body was found was indicative of somebody that was maybe strangled," said Sheriff Nielsen. "Because of some of the decomposition of the body we couldn't prove that at the time of the autopsy. "
The original cause of death was undetermined and an undetermined mechanism, according to Boone County Coroner Justin Sparks. They believe that her body likely in the same place for three days before she was found A forensic review will be done of the 1992 records.
Leonard encourages others who have missing loved ones to not give up.