Cold Case Victim Identified Through DNA Testing
Detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau Cold Case Squad have solved the mystery of a woman found deceased in 1993 at the base of a cedar tree in Centreville. The woman was identified on Nov. 21 as Sharon Kay Abbott Lane. The identification was made possible through advanced DNA testing and forensic-grade genome sequencing provided by Othram Inc. Funding for this testing was provided by anonymous donors through DNASolves.
Othram utilized advanced Forensic Genetic Genealogy technology to identify a possible family member of Sharon. Detectives contacted the family member, which led to additional family connections across the country. Detectives combed through the names and made countless calls to track down Sharon’s immediate family. With the help of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia, our detectives were able to connect with a family member, who led us to Sharon’s brother and eventually her children. A DNA sample was provided to Othram and confirmed the match.
Landscapers discovered human skeletal remains on December 6, 1993, in a wooded area in the 6800 block of Sharpsburg Drive in Centreville. Detectives gathered evidence from the scene they believed belonged to the victim, including jewelry, deteriorated clothing, a red comb and a yellow barrette. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined she suffered several stab and knife wounds to the upper body. Experts believed the body belonged to a female between 28-39 years old.
Sharon was last heard from around 1987 and was believed to be living in Fairfax County. Approximately 3-4 years later, her late father received an anonymous phone call from a woman stating his daughter was dead.
“The tragic death of Sharon Kay Abbott Lane is now closer to being solved with the help of advanced DNA testing,” said Major Ed O’Carroll of the Major Crimes, Cyber and Forensics Bureau. “Our detectives will use this new information to continue to seek justice for the victim in this case. We encourage anyone who may have known Sharon or her associates to contact our detectives.”
Detectives continue to ask for help in solving this murder. If you knew Sharon, our detectives would like to hear from you. Tips can be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), and by web – www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org. Download the ‘P3 Tips’ App “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars. Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars. Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you.
Victim specialists from our Major Crimes Bureau’s Victim Services Division have been assigned to this case to ensure Sharon’s family is receiving appropriate resources and assistance.
For information about other cold cases, visit https://bit.ly/3rP9kdZ.