Michelle Yvette Busha, Found: Missing Texas Teen’s Cold Case Death Solved After 35 Years

The remains of Michelle Yvette Busha, an 18-year-old missing teen who vanished from her Bay City, Texas, home in 1980, has been found. KARE-11 is reporting that Michelle Yvette Bush had been buried as a Jane Doe only months after she was found dead in Minnesota in May 1980. Years later, Robert Leroy Nelson, a former state trooper, confessed in 1989 to killing the girl while she was hitchhiking. Nelson, who had worked as a police officer for 15 years, told police he did not know the victim’s name. He is currently serving time in Texas for her murder and for child molestation, according to Minnesota Public News Radio.

The initial case came to the attention of police in May 1980 after a nude, decomposed body was found in a drainage ditch off of Interstate 90 in Minnesota. When police found the body, a rope or a cord of some type was wrapped around the victim’s neck. An examination of the body suggested that she had died of strangulation.

News outlets in 1980 attempted to identify the victim but without success. There was renewed interest in the case in the early 2000s after Deb Anderson heard the strange story from a person at the police department.

She learned that Michelle Yvette Busha had been buried in Faribault County at the Riverside Cemetery in Blue Earth, and made it her mission to give this victim a name. Through donations, the body was exhumed so that DNA could be extracted.

Today, Deb Anderson is ecstatic that the DNA was a match for a teen who had been reported missing from Texas in 1980. The body was positively identified as Michelle Busha, aka Michelle Yvette Busha.


For years since she learned of the case, she maintained a website that housed resource materials related to Jane Doe.

Since the cold case has been solved, Minnesota residents are glad that Busha was finally identified, though it has taken more than three decades. They express their comments this way.

“Very sad, 35 years later.”

“Wow a state trooper admitted to the murder 9 urs after it happened.”

“all this time, but now the family finally has her home.”

“Awesome for this family but so bittersweet.”

“Wow this is scary. To know people like this are out there.”

The Michelle Yvette Busha missing persons case is reminiscent of the Reyna Marroquin disappearance. In that case, the Salvadorean immigrant vanished from her New York City apartment in 1969. When a friend came to the apartment to look for her, she found food on the table and the front door ajar. She tried desperately to find her friend and had no way to contact her family back in El Salvador. The case went unsolved for decades until her body was discovered in the basement of a home where her former boss and lover had lived decades earlier.

When investigators pulled the body from the drum, they found the mummified remains of Reyna Marroquin, who was pregnant with a child. An investigation revealed that she had threatened to tell her boss’ wife about the affair. Her remains were finally returned to her family.

Each year, around 900,000 people are reported missing. Most missing persons are found, but many are never found. In some cases, like the Michelle Busha case, victims are buried in unnamed graves or are kept at the medical examiners’ offices around the nation without ever being identified.

[Photo Credit: Twitter]

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