Lady Researching Family Tree Finds out Biological Mother Was Cold Situation Murder Victim

A Virginia lady trying to find her biological mother aided detectives in solving a 40-year-old cold situation slaying.

Christine Salley “always understood she’d been adopted,” based on the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office. This month, Salley, 41, discovered her mother was positively identified among the victims of the mysterious double murder dating back to decades, government bodies stated.

The remains of Salley’s mother, Pamela Duffey, put together by an archeologist inside a “shallow grave” within the California desert in 1980. Her body was discovered alongside William Everette Lane. Autopsies revealed they’d been beaten and shot. Both victims were naked.

For many years, detectives were not able to recognize Duffey and Lane. Their suspected killer, Howard Dean, resided in Ludlow, California, at about the time from the murders but fled the condition shortly afterward. He later murdered his brother and sexually assaulted and wiped out his 13-year-old niece and her friend in Mississippi, based on court papers. Dean eventually returned to California, but was extradited to Mississippi to manage murder charges in link with the triple homicide. Dean was trial in 1982. He was convicted, and sentenced to dying.

Nearly ten years later, Dean’s dying sentence was commuted to 3 existence terms after he was discovered to be “mentally challenged,” because of a low IQ, based on police force. Dean’s attorney apparently blocked him from talking to county investigators in California for a long time.

“Investigators within the Ludlow murders tried to interview Neal, but each attempt to do this was denied by his attorney, who had been representing him for that Mississippi murder trial and the appeals,” the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office stated inside a statement. “His attorney informed investigators in California they weren’t required to look any more for any suspect within the Ludlow murders.” 

In 2017, San Bernardino prosecutors and detectives traveled to Mississippi to question Dean — and find out if he may help find out the victims from the Ludlow double murder. Dean, however, provided “very little information.” He claimed Duffey might have been from Arkansas coupled with a “deformed arm.” He told investigators she’d “left her youthful daughter behind before she left to hitchhike over the county.” Dean described Lane like a “hippie.”

The Mississippi man confessed to murdering Duffey and Lane at his home after he selected the 2 hitchhikers on the freeway. He said he experienced an “intense” argument with Lane at his residence after making “physical advances” on Duffey.

Dean, now 68, told detectives he believed Lane “would most likely kill him if he didn’t kill him first,” based on the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office.  

Investigators suspect Dean fatally shot Lane after which sexually assaulted and wiped out Duffey.

Neal then hidden Duffey and Lane within the desert near Highway 66.

As years passed, investigators had extracted DNA in the remains of Duffey and Lane, submitting samples to public and police force databases hoping of identifying them. 

No matches surfaced until Salley started investigating her family tree. In 2018, the Virginia lady hired a personal investigator to analyze her genealogy. In December 2020, an example of Salley’s DNA was submitted towards the family history and genealogical research portal GEDmatch. Detectives had formerly submitted Duffey’s genetic material towards the site.

A match was ultimately came back, indicating “a parent/child relationship” between Salley and also the Ludlow victim. She later told investigators her biological mother was Pamela Dianne Duffey. Adoption documents verified her claims, government bodies stated.

To help verify the genetic link, detectives collected yet another DNA sample from Salley and resubmitted it to some California Department of Justice forensics lab in Richmond. The outcomes, came back this month, positively identified Duffey because the female murder victim within the Ludlow slayings. 

Salley later aided investigators in identifying Lane, too. She told detectives she’d learned her mother was connected having a man referred to as “Digger Lane” at about the time she disappeared. Lane, who then had lately been released from prison, was planning for a mix-country trip together with her mother, she stated. 

Virginia condition government bodies helped comb through police databases, ultimately matching arrest and incarceration records to William Everette Lane. Investigators later tracked his street address to Jacksonville, Florida, and discovered numerous his relatives. DNA seemed to be collected from Lane’s mother, which later matched the remains from the male victim present in Ludlow decades ago.

“The procedure for coming back the Ludlow victim’s remains for their families for correct burials has started,” the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office mentioned.  

A spokesperson for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office wasn’t immediately available for comment concerning the situation on Thursday.

Anybody with a lot more information associated with the situation is inspired to make contact with Sgt. Jonathan Forest or homicide investigators Steve Shumway and Gerrit Tesselaar from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office at 909-387-3589.

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Written by Stephanie Green

I am dreamer and book reader.

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