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Linda Marie Pagano (April 11, 1957 - c. September 1, 1974) was a teenager who was found murdered in 1975. She initially disappeared in September 1974 after having an argument with her stepfather.

In July 2018, her family confirmed a match to remains that had been buried in a paupers grave. Until then, she had been unidentified for 43 years.

Case

Disappearance

In September 1, 1974, Pagano came home late from a concert and had an argument with her stepfather. Her stepfather threw her out of the home and she was never seen again. Little information is available on her disappearance and the investigation.

Discovery

On February 5, 1975, Pagano's partial skeleton was discovered along Rocky River in Strongsville, Ohio by children. Her mandible was not recovered and her limbs were missing, presumably due to dismemberment, as her killer had sawed some of her teeth out of the skull. Her death was ruled a homicide by shooting and despite efforts to identify her, there were no leads and the remains were eventually buried in a paupers grave.

Identification

In 2015, an amateur genealogy researcher named Christina Scates was searching through cemetery records in Cleveland when she discovered a listing for "Unknown white female bones" that had been discovered in 1975 in Strongsville. As she became intrigued by the case, she started to research the discovery of the remains at her local library and reached out to local law enforcement, including a Cleveland Metroparks ranger, who sent her the case file. After receiving the case file, she posted it to Reddit and it eventually made its way to Websleuths, where it caught the attention of Carl Koppelman, who was sent the autopsy photos and created a facial reconstruction from the skull.

A few months later, Linda Pagano was listed on NamUS and the similarities were made between the Strongsville Jane Doe and Linda by Carl and law enforcement, which eventually lead to her identification in 2018.

Linda's siblings believe Linda’s stepfather may have been responsible for her death, however he passed away in 1990.

Gallery

Sources

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