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Decades-Old Mystery Solved DNA Reveals Identity of Woman Found at Bottom of Bay Area Cliff


Police say that DNA testing has helped them figure out who the woman whose body was found at the base of a cliff in the Bay Area almost 60 years ago is.

News from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said that the woman’s body parts were found on February 3, 1967, at the base of a cliff on Highway 1 near Jenner, which is about 80 miles north of San Francisco. Multiple fractures in her brain and ribs were found to be the cause of her death, but no one knew how she got those injuries.

It was not possible to identify her. She was finally identified as Jane Doe and buried soon after at the County of Sonoma Cemetery, according to the police.

The woman’s body was dug up in 2009 with the help of Mark Griffin, an anthropology professor at San Francisco State University, according to the police. Then it was decided that she had been killed.

Authorities say that Othram Inc., a business that does forensic genetic analysis, looked at her DNA in 2023 and found that she was Lillian Marie Cardenas. Cardenas was born in 1928 and last lived in San Francisco, according to the report. She had not been in touch with her family in a long time before she died.

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