WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — “Corona Girl,” the victim of a 30-year cold case, has been identified, the woman’s family confirmed to KXAN’s Alex Caprariello Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the Williamson County Sheriff’s office outlined how they identified her after three decades.
Jackie Delaney, the older sister of Sue Ann Huskey, 17, told KXAN that detectives with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office have informed her that they have positively matched her sister with the previously unidentified “Corona Girl,” named after the Corona beer T-shirt she was wearing when they found her in the Jarrell area on Sept. 25, 1989.
Identifying “Corona Girl”
At the end of 2019, The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office announced one of its cold cases is getting picked up by the DNA Doe Project.
The DNA Doe Project, which is based in California, is a non-profit that has helped solve more than 2 dozen cold cases. Kevin Lord, with the DNA Doe Project, helped assist Williamson County in this cold case.
“A lot of times, LOTUS, which is the agency law enforcement uses, doesn’t provide them with a hit to give answers,” Lord said. “We’ll work with them to send part of the remains to a lab that will extract the DNA. We have that DNA sequenced from that data. We are able to produce a film that we can upload to a genealogy database that allows law enforcement to look at it.”
In a Wednesday press conference held by the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. John Pokorny with the Cold Case Unit explained that in August 2018, a tooth was sent to Virginia in the hopes of extracting useable DNA. But, Pokorny says, the extraction was unsuccessful — as were several others with several other teeth.
Then, in October 2018, bones and more teeth were submitted to supplement those already submitted in order to try to build a DNA profile. But, the results were still not enough. This process continued in 2019.
But slowly over that year, a profile began to piece together.
In November, additional extracts were sent to the University of North Texas. But these still were not enough.
A big break came when investigators sent more teeth and other bone tissue to the Netherlands — where Lord says the experts in DNA extraction are.
A few possible DNA matches popped up around this time — who would turn out to be one set of Sue Ann’s grandparents — and possible family members in Sulphur Springs were contacted for sampling.
In January 2020, lab results confirmed that “Corona Girl” was their missing family member, Sue Ann Huskey.
Sue Ann Huskey’s sister Delaney said her sister was last seen in Sulphur Springs in 1989 and has been missing for 30 years.
It’s a missing persons case that has haunted the family for years.
Amanda Cantrell, Huskey’s sister, read a statement from the family during the press conference:
“…They have given our sister back and now we can take her home. And after 30 years of not knowing where she was or how she was, you always have it in your heart and on your mind wondering, ‘Where are you at sister?‘ We lost our father in 2002. He grieved over his baby girl, not knowing where she was, but we are very grateful that we have our mother still with us to find her baby girl and bring her home.”
Delaney said her sister was a “bubbly teenager” who enjoyed being with her friends and going swimming. She did not know how Sue Ann traveled to Williamson County.
Another Cold Case
This is the second major update from the Williamson County Cold Case Unit.
Back in August 2019, the unit announced they discovered the identity of “Orange Socks.”
Debra Jackson, 23, was sexually assaulted and strangled. Her body was found in the Georgetown area on Halloween 1979.
The unidentified body only had on a pair of orange socks. A new sketch last year led to finding family and a DNA match.
Henry Lee Lucas was convicted of the murder in 1984. A convicted serial killer, Lucas falsely confessed to killing hundreds of people.