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Shirley Ann Soosay (c. 1945 - July 14, 1980), was a woman found stabbed to death in McFarland, California. She may have possibly used the name "Rebecca/Becky Ochoa". In 2015, DNA evidence linked her to Ventura County Jane Doe (1980), not to each other, but rather to their killer.

She was identified by the DNA Doe Project in April 2021, after her niece recognized the reconstruction as her when she saw it on one of the Project's public outreach announcements. Her identity was confirmed when the relative uploaded her DNA to GEDmatch. Soosay is one of the first members of the First Nations People to be identified through forensic genealogy.

Case

Soosay was found dead in an almond orchard in McFarland, California, having been sexually assaulted and stabbed to death.

Investigation revealed that she may have been from Washington, and may have gone by the name Rebecca/Becky Ochoa. She also may have been employed at an apple orchard.

In 2015, she was linked to a potential suspect and the Ventura County Jane Doe by DNA evidence. Wilson Chouest was convicted of the murders in May 2018. 

In 2018, they were both DNA Doe Project cases.

In February 2020, it was revealed by the DNA Doe Project that she was of First Nations ancestry and had ties to Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba as well as Montana. One of her ancestors was a member of the Cree nation.

Characteristics

  • Brown eyes.
  • Brown hair.
  • Her upper teeth were missing.
  • A scar on her abdomen.
  • A scar on her buttock.
  • Surgical screws/plates and a metal rod in her left leg. There was no serial number and the model may have been created during the 1960s but could have been installed at a different time.
  • Two tattoos:
    • Both tattoos were in color and professionally "inked"
    • One read "Love You" with the name "Shirley" in a heart and the word "Seattle" underneath.
    • The other tattoo read "Mother" with a rose beneath it and "I Love You" at the bottom.
  • She had also likely given birth at least once.

Gallery

Sources

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