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Merrybeth Hodgkinson (c. 1961 - c. September 1992), previously known as Clubhouse Jane Doe by authorities, was a woman whose skeleton was discovered in 1995 behind a popular diner in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.

She was identified in late December 2021 with the assistance of BODE Technology. She was the mother of two children at the time of her death.

Case

On the 18th of September, 1995, children playing in a wooded area behind the Club House Diner in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, discovered the skeletal remains of Hodgkinson wrapped in plastic. She was nude, though several articles of clothing and crucifixes were discovered near the body. An autopsy discovered that she had been strangled to death and left in the wooded area approximately 2 to 3 years before her discovery.

Between 2004 and 2021, Bensalem police ruled out over 50 missing women as being the decedent after her DNA was extracted and sent to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification in May 2004. In 2021, her DNA was uploaded to GEDmatch and FamilyTreeDNA with forensic genealogy tests being conducted on the remains shortly afterward. In November, a match to her DNA was found and compared to the DNA of a surviving sibling. She was identified the following month as 31-year-old Merrybeth Hodgkinson from Warminster, Pennsylvania.

Hodgkinson had seven siblings from Warminster and had been living in motels in Bensalem, Scruples, and Philadelphia. It is believed that she was working as an erotic dancer at the time of her death, alongside raising her two children. She last made contact with her family in September of 1992 and is suspected to have been killed within that time period. The Hodgkinson family claims she was reported missing during that year, though none of the missing persons databases used by police had any record of the decedent. Hodgkinson is reported to have been declared legally dead in 2006.

Currenly, authorities are searching for leads on who may have known Hodgkinson before she was killed and are investigating a man convicted of two murders who was active during the 1990's. Investigators suspect that he may have killed the decedent or had known her murderer due to the killings of his two victims being similar to Hodgkinson's.

Characteristics

  • Brown hair.
  • Extensive dental work, probably done at a low cost clinic or prison.
  • Probably has given birth at least once.
  • Brown eyes.

Clothing and accessories

  • Blue quilted, sleeveless vest (near the body).
  • Blue Corduroy pants (near the body).
  • Pink T-shirt with "KPMG Peat Marwick" on it (near the body).
  • White T-shirt with "Property of Alcatraz Pennitentiary Swim team, San Francisco" on it (near the body).
  • 2 crucifixes depicting the stations of the cross, one in gold and one in silver.

Gallery

Sources

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