Police identify victims of the Mojave Desert murder from the 1980 cold case and associate the dead with men in prison for other killings


& Lt; h5 & gt; A search for a biological mother finds a corpse buried in the desert of San Bernardino County, which links to a murderer in Mississippi & lt; / h5 & gt; (Photo by Carlo Allegri / Getty Images. File. )
Finding a biological mother leads to a corpse buried in the desert of San Bernardino County, leading to a Mississippi murderer

(Photo by Carlo Allegri / Getty Images. File.)

Police finally identified the victims of the murder in the Mojave Desert in 1980, and investigations led to a man who had already been imprisoned. Mississippi prison.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office said it had finally identified two victims found in the desert. Southern California..

In a statement on Wednesday, authorities identified Pamela Dianne Duffey, born in 1959, and William Everette Lane, born in 1960. Duffey and Lane were formerly known as Jane Doe 10 and John Doe 29.

According to Sheriff spokesman Jody Miller, the two were 20 and 19 at the time of their death.

Both Duffy and Lane were in desert tombs for about six to eight months before being discovered, according to the San Bernardino County Prosecutor’s Office. The two victims were found without clothing or identification.

After two autopsies, they were found to have died from a combination of gunshot wounds and blunt trauma. Police said attempts to identify them were unsuccessful.

This is one of the oldest cold cases that the Sheriff’s Office had to deal with, says Sheriff San Bernardino investigator Gerrit Tesselaar.

A 40-year investigation into the identities of victims of the Mojave Desert murder is finally over after a Virginia woman who decided to find her real parents in 2018 discovered that her DNA matched Duffy’s DNA. finished.

Since being adopted as a child, Christine Marie Salley has hired a private detective in 2018 to help her find her real parents.

In December of that year, investigators submitted her DNA to GEDmatch DNA and found a child / parent match between herself and Duffy. Earlier this month, the California Department of Justice confirmed the match.

Ms. Sally shared her adoption paper with officials and additional DNA samples. However, Tesseller said the DNA match was not considered positive from a legal point of view, and the pandemic delayed official results from the State Department of Justice.

According to police, Ms. Sally knew that her mother was a prisoner in Virginia and traveled with a person named Digger Lane, who was released in 1979 or 1980. Virginia State Police is his mother in Jacksonville, Florida.

Duffy and Lane, confirmed by police, were victims of a murderer named Howard Neil, 68, in Mississippi. He is currently in jail for rape and murder of a 13-year-old niece and a 12-year-old friend. Similar to the murder of his brother.

Before the two Mojave murder victims were identified, sheriff investigators knew that Mr. Neil had previously lived in Radrow and moved to Mississippi shortly after the murder.

During the interview, Neil told police about picking up a hitchhiker woman and a man he called a “hippie.”

He shot a man after he tried to move forward towards a woman, Duffy.

According to police, Neil subsequently sexually assaulted and killed the woman. Then he took them to a remote and isolated place in the desert and buried them there.

In the sheriff’s department, Neil was “first sentenced to death in 1982, but his lawyer appealed based on Neil’s mental state in 1990, and an IQ test showed that he was mentally retarded. After it turned out, his death sentence was commuted. “

Neil is currently serving three life imprisonments.

Meanwhile, police say the victims must be returned to their families for proper burial. Mr. Tesseller said both victims’ families wanted to cremate the bodies.