Nearly 30 years after she was killed, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office said they’ve identified the woman from a cold case they’ve referred to as “the lady in the fridge.”
In 1995, a scavenger looking to recycle bottles and cans found a refrigerator partially submerged in water at the Whiskey Slough in Holt, California. Inside the refrigerator, detectives discovered a woman’s body. They believe she was in the fridge, dead and undiscovered, for about six months. The woman didn’t have any identification on her and there were no missing persons reports that had been filed that matched her appearance.
The case has been cold for several years, but officers recently used investigative technology from Othram, a private forensic laboratory, to combine DNA analysis and conditional genealogy to finally identify the woman: Amanda Lynn Schumann Deza.
Skeletal evidence was sent to Othram’s lab, where Othram’s forensic scientists developed a DNA extract, according to a release from the laboratory. Investigative leads were found and detectives were able to follow up with Deza’s mother and daughter who provided a DNA sample, officially linking “the lady in the fridge” to Deza.
In a press conference, detectives said Deza had been working on overcoming some challenges in life when she disappeared, but did not go into specifics about what those were. They said those challenges were most likely the reason as to why she wasn’t reported missing in 1994 when they believe she was murdered.
“We’ve spoken to several family members,” San Joaquin County Sheriff Patrick Withrow said. “They’re grateful we’ve identified her. They were obviously shocked by the news but they’re hopeful that we can find some sort of resolution to this.”
A medical examiner determined Deza was killed by blunt force trauma.
Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact them so they can find Deza’s killer. They said she lived in Napa, Oakley and Delta, California, and has been described as Caucasian with strawberry blonde hair, was 110 to 130 pounds, and was 30 years old when she was killed.
Dollars to donuts the family killed her