FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5/KMOV.com) – A St. Louis teenager has been identified as a 40-year-old cold case victim out of Coconino County, Arizona. A Jane Doe known for decades as “Valentine Sally.”

Coconino County Sheriff's Office announced Monday that after 40 years they have been able to officially identify the Jane Doe from the Valentine Sally case.

Valentine Sally was one of the oldest unsolved "Jane Doe" cases in Arizona. A young woman was found dead on the side of a northern Arizona highway by an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer decades ago on Valentine's Day, and nobody knows who she is until now.

Through funding from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), CCSO was able to send DNA samples to a private vendor testing lab to complete a familial DNA search for her relatives, according to a press release. The testing led them to find family members in the St. Louis area and the identification of the girl as Carolyn Eaton.

It was found that the family members had a sibling who ran away from home around Christmas time in 1981. Detectives were able to retrieve DNA samples from relatives, which matched the DNA profile from “Valentine Sally.”

A young woman was found dead on the side of a northern Arizona highway decades ago, and to this day, nobody knows who she is. But is law enforcement any closer to solving this case? And who last saw this girl alive? 

During CCSO's investigation with the new information, they were able to work with the St. Louis Police Department Missing Persons detectives along with the Bellefontaine Neighbors Police Department in Missouri where Eaton lived before she ran away around the time of Christmas 1981 and the new year.

“I just knew that the family was terribly upset and that Carolyn ran away but nothing was ever found or nothing turned up about her,” said neighbor Peggy Harbke, who still lives across the street on Bliss Drive where the family live.

Harbke is still friends with Eaton’s sister and said this news brings the family some closure after all this time.

“It won’t ever bring her back, but it did provide some closure for the family and I think that means a whole lot.“

Valentine Sally

CCSO says they are working to further investigate the case with their cold case department. They said there are some leads but nothing additional they can share at this time.


Copyright 2021 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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