Not to be confused with the Woman in the Trunk.

"Cheerleader in the Trunk" (also referred to as "Woman in the Trunk" and "Lady in the Trunk") was a teenager or woman found dead in a footlocker in 1982 in Fredrick County, Maryland.

Case

On August 24th, 1982, in Frederick, Maryland, The woman’s body was found inside a footlocker, a few feet off a gravel road in Gambrills State Park in the Catochin Mountains. The footlocker was in plain view while having sticks and leaves covered over the trunk, possibly as a poor attempt to disguise it. She had been concluded to be deceased for several months placing her death as early as early Spring, 1982.

A forensic anthropologist observed skeletal features in the lower back and feet that may have been related to a previous injury or injuries. The female also had extensive dental work completed that consisted of several fillings, root canals, and crowns. No clothing or jewelry was found with the remains, but a dark colored towel was found with the remains.

Early on in the investigation, she was given an age range that would previously extend up to 45, but in 2020, the NCMEC had narrowed it down to 27. The NCMEC has also given her a reconstruction in 2020.

Characteristics

  • She had signs of wear on her bones, especially her hips, indicating she was active in gymnastics or other sports.
  • Decomposition prevented analysis of eye color and skin tone.
  • Her earlobes may have stuck out in an “unnatural” way, as seen in the sketches.
  • She had extensive dental work.
  • She had spondylolysis, a defect or stress fracture in her pars.
  • She had dark brown hair to medium length, described as being slightly wavy. Her natural hair color may have been a reddish-brown, as her pubic hair was recovered.
    • Because of the theory that she was an active sportsperson, she may have often worn her hair in a ponytail.

Gallery

Media

  • The case briefly appeared on The New Detectives when this victim was a suggested identity for a missing woman, who was later found dead.
  • The case was later shown on Nancy Grace.

Sources

Notes

  1. The victim's age range was previously listed to extend up to 45.
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