42-year Mystery Solved: Brutally Murdered Michigan Woman Identified in California


Elaine Armstrong, a Michigan native, has been identified 42 years after she was brutally killed in San Diego, California.

The unidentified skeleton of an unnamed woman was discovered in San Diego, California, on October 16, 1981, behind an office supply store. She’d been stabbed, battered, and burned. Her identity was unreadable owing to fire damage, but her purse was discovered next to her body.

She was dressed in multiple layers of jackets, a light blue pattern shirt, dark blue stockings, and a purple, gray, and off-white head scarf with a yellow print. Her death, according to investigators, occurred just a few hours before her body was found.

In the Pacific Beach community, she was called “The Bag Lady.” She had nowhere to live and was frequently spotted wearing her clothes in a paper bag. Until recently, no one knew her true identity.

In just this year, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office gave Othram forensic data that helped him make a full DNA profile of Armstrong. The team used forensic genetic history to find leads for the investigation, which they then gave to the police.

The medical examiner confirmed the woman’s name in December 2023 after meeting with possible genetic relatives. The San Diego District Attorney’s Office had already done this. Elaine Armstrong, 51, from Michigan, has been named the woman.

He was born in 1930 and grew up in Manistee, Michigan. Later, he lived in Midland, Michigan. Her family has been told. The rest of the crime scene data will be looked at again to try to find out who killed her.

If you know anything, please call the San Diego Police Homicide Unit at 619-531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

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