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Victim of 'Happy Face Killer' identified 29 years later

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Posted at 2:25 PM, Apr 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 14:25:02-04

Investigators in California have identified the body of a woman who went missing in Oregon 29 years ago.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office said that on April 13 they were able to identify Patricia Skiple through genetic genealogy using DNA from the body of a woman found next to California State Route 152 near Gilroy in 1993.

She went missing in Colton, Oregon, after arguing with her husband. She was never heard from again.

Police have long known the woman was killed by a man known as the Happy Face Killer because in 2006 he wrote a letter to the sheriff's office admitting to the crime.

Keith Hunter Jesperson was dubbed the Happy Face Killer because he signed letters he wrote to police and the media with a smiley face.

Jesperson was a truck driver who killed many women around the country.

He plead guilty in 2007 to killing Skiple, who was not identified at the time of his conviction.

Jesperson is currently serving a life prison sentence in Oregon.