Police identified three sets of skeletal remains found buried in Southeast Washington D.C. in April on Wednesday. The remains are of women who disappeared in 2006 according to the Washington Post. The bodies were identified as Jewel Marquita King, 48, Verdell Jefferson, 41, and Dorothy Jean Butts, 43.
Police said the three of them disappeared from their homes and were killed. Two of them were shot and one of them was beaten. Jefferson lived on the same street where all of the bodies were found.
A now clear homicide case, the detectives are back to searching for who killed these women. At a news conference about the discovery, police said it does not appear that all three women were killed at the same time, but it is possible they were killed by the same person.
A previous report from DCW 50 states no foul play had been linked to the bones but police have since ruled their deaths as homicides.
The first set of remains were found by construction workers who were enlarging a crawl space in the basement of an apartment building on Wayne Place in Congress Heights on April 25. The two other sets were found a short time later, sharing a single, shallow grave in woods behind the building, making it clear at least the two buried together probably had the same killer.
The man who uncovered the remains, Adan Escobar, said that “there were no clothes, no hair, no weapons. Nothing but bones.”
Detectives are going through all three of the women’s pasts to see if anything links some or all of them. They are trying to learn why they were buried on a hilly street lined with boxy red brick apartment buildings.
Residents of the area are left uncomfortable and without closure still with the discovery. Shortly after the discovery of the remains, forensic experts and cadaver dogs combed through the basement of the building and in the expansive woods nearby, where many neighborhood children play.
Detectives will focus on interviewing people who lived in the building before it was shut down. Police admit that may take a long time since the structure was built close to 70 years ago.
It is unclear how forensics finally identified the bodies or if there was anything in their graves to help identify them. No new evidence has yet to be discovered. Police continue to search for their killer or killers, hoping the cases will not grow cold again.