At the same time, Georgia detectives worked to identify remains that two Department of Transportation employees had discovered near a highway in December 1988.
Both cases soon went cold — until this month.
Authorities with the Dade County Sheriff’s Office in northwestern Georgia and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) announced the remains were identified with the help of advanced DNA technology as those of Chahorski and will be soon returned to her family in Michigan.
“I think we have a good probability of solving this case and bringing the killer to justice,” he added.
How she was identified
A forensic artist drew a composite image in hopes that would help lead to an identity. In the mid-2000s, investigators sent additional evidence to an FBI lab for testing, which helped develop a DNA profile — but that didn’t match anyone already in any system.
For this effort, they enlisted Othram, a Texas-based laboratory that works with law enforcement and has been credited with helping solve a lengthy list of other cold cases.
“Without the advancements in DNA technology, we wouldn’t have been able to be of assistance and have this success so we’re grateful for that and for the work Othram did,” FBI Special Agent Tim Burke said in Thursday’s news conference.
Chahorski would have been 52 today, the GBI said.
‘A little bit of peace’
Chahorski had been buried in Dade County since 1989 in an unmarked grave.
Her body will now go back to her family, authorities said.
A few weeks ago, authorities notified her mother, who was the one who reported her missing.
“We were able to notify her and bring her a little bit of peace,” Burke said. “We were also able to provide some jewelry that was found on Stacey back here at the crime scene and return that to her,” he said.
“We look forward to helping in any way with the remaining investigation, and also getting Stacey’s remains back to her loved ones in Michigan so that she can finally rest in peace,” he added.